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Exclusive: Madaila Creates Lush, Danceable Psychedelia with Their New Track, “Woods”

Madaila by Brendan McInerney

Since the Burlington, VT based psych-rock band Madaila dropped their first release, The Dance, in 2015, they’ve become hometown heroes—spoken of by critics and fans in the same breath as famous Vermontians Grace Potter and Phish. A sold out show at a local aquarium last Halloween fed the buzz, perhaps thanks to what the band refers to in their bio as the “freakier elements” that are unleashed when the five-piece takes the stage. Though their recordings are precise in their synth-washed layering, in practice, the guys like to take the time to jam, expanding on thoughts and pulling on loose threads in a no-holds-barred effort to get every single audience member dancing. Part of Burlington’s artist­-run label and management group, Future Fields, Madaila is gearing up to release their sophomore album, Traces, in October.

Today, Elmore is premiering “Woods,” the first single from the upcoming album. Languid, ever present synthesizer is overlaid with soulful falsetto to paint a lush, elemental soundscape for listeners. Madaila’s Mark Daly says of the track, “parts of “Woods” are quite dark. The verses talk about the noise and distraction of the modern world: the fast pace, the industrialism and the technology that blur the lines of reality. The emotion of the music matches the theme. Within all of this is a sense of hope – a sign of light; of a person or place that you can escape to, inside your mind, to help fight away all the noise. Even though it is dark and very “inside your head,” “Woods” has roots of a love song.”

Sweeping and orchestral in its unusual, drawn out format, Madaila calls to mind the gentle yearning of Bon Iver, but creates something fleshier, more psychedelic, skirting a line between beckoning you to the sweaty dance floor and begging you to simply tune in and drop out. In regards to how the song- the album’s final cut – fits within the work as a whole, Daly adds, “there is a theme of secrets in Traces. In “Woods,” I am revealing my hidden desire, my secret of where I would want to go to escape all of the dark things in life – almost a utopian place, or, in a heavier way, place of eternity or spiritual rest.  In a way it is the perfect conclusion to the record in the conceptual sense of fighting through the dark to get to the light.”

Catch the guys at their Madaila on Main Festival in Burlington, VT on 9/4 alongside Marco Benevento, Lady Lamb and more. Listen to “Woods” below, and check out the rest of their upcoming tour dates below or on their website.

Madaila Fall Tour Dates
9/4 – Burlington, VT – Madaila on Main Festival
9/13 – Fairfield, CT – StageOne*
9/14 – Boston – Brighton Music Hall*
9/15 – NYC – Mercury Lounge*
9/16 – Vienna, VA – Jammin Java*
10/27 – NYC – Brooklyn Bowl^

* with Earphunk
^ with Twiddle

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  1. Great review. “Spoke of by critics” should read “spoken of by critics.” A minor grammatical detail. Otherwise perfect. I love Madaila.