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Madeline
White Flag
Orange Twin Records
www.madelinesongs.com


A native of Athens, Georgia, singer-songwriter Madeline Adams creates music with a poetic bouquet layered in slices of folk, country, bluegrass, and ethereal-pop. Her latest release White Flag features a creative range of musicians from the orchestral tones of John Fernandes on violin, Jacob Morris on cello, Laura Carter on trumpet, Robbie Cucchiaro on euphonium, and Jason Robira on piano, to country tones from Matt Stoessel on pedal steel and Julien Derocher and Caleb Darnell on banjo. The soft intonations of Adams' vocals are reflective of The Corrs strapped to a bridle of gently versed bluegrass-embodied musings reminiscent of Adrienne Young with shots of ephemeral-salved pop that recall of Elf Power. Adams' album has a homey feel that makes one think of meadows stretching out past the horizon covered in fields of leafy clovers, dandelions, honeysuckles, and pussy-willows growing out of the ground.

The melodies are sparsely layered as Adams moves her vocals like a thin sheet of rayon wrapping its softness around the gently coiled loops. Some tracks have an old-time country vibe like "Telephone Daydream" laced up in a cozy saloon-style piano vamp, and "Lit Elephants" soaked in soft bluegrassy puttering from the banjo's strumming. The upbeat tempo of "This Train" is strewn in elating ascents flapping from the pedal steel drones and vocals, while "Shotgun Wedding" has a bluesy-pop shuffling in the rhythmic grooves like Lucero with sage-sounding vocals professing, "It's the pills we've been taking / Hallelujah fire water / One for sleeping one for waking." The folksy acoustics shingling "Rain Fire And Brimstone" are trellised in wispy tendrils and softly groomed trimmings reflective of old-time Irish bards, while "You Can't Break My Heart" has an Appalachian mountain-folk slant. The crystal-glint of "Belly Of The Beast" and "Mountain Heart" induces a lullaby glow as the malleable acoustics of "Black Out" are basted in gusty vocals.

Madeline Adams is no novice when it comes to making attractive country-folk tunes, having been writing and performing since 2002. Her most outstanding quality is the softness in her vocals as the earthy-pallor and rayon-textured acoustics twine into a poetic bouquet. The album has a homey feel that speaks volumes about Adams' upbringing in Georgia, which infiltrates every molecule in the songs.

-Susan Frances

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