Guided by the talents of singer/songwriter Michelle Blanchard, Madyx is based out of Los Angeles and has garnered widespread attention already thanks to a superb debut self-titled EP. Her first studio recording earned many admirers on the back of the single “Bad Decisions” generating 70k streams on Spotify and earning radio play on many marquee radio stations throughout the world. The social and traditional media success she experienced is a harbinger of great things to come with her forthcoming follow up and the single “Girl Boy” is our first taste of where she is taking her music from this point forward. Her infectious energy, musicality, and innate intelligence make this a winning ride from the first. It’s easy to hear why she’s co-written songs with Pete Kirtley and the Saint City Orchestra, among others.
The staggered and lightly treated vocals possess a playful childish quality and the stutter of her voice begins the song with a strong rhythmic attack. The electronic treatment surrounding the singing isn’t thick and never weighs down her voice but she climbs to another level when the verses begin and her vocals take on a wider tone. She has a plaintive, deeply felt way of asserting her presence through the lyrics and her emphatic phrasing bubbles over with passion.
The music has a pop edge, but there’s ample muscle at work. The lower end of the song has enough weight to give the song steady grounding the bass resonates with a warm pulse. Slashing guitars and heavier percussion give the chorus an intensely dramatic feel and the harder rocking tendencies emerging at that moment prove to be one of the song’s biggest musical payoffs. The effortless swagger in the performance seems illustrative of the confidence Blanchard has in her music and songwriting.
The lyrical content never panders despite examining familiar territory and themes, but the most impressive aspect of the writing is how she gives the song’s point of view its own unique flavor while keeping it accessible. It isn’t difficult to relate to this song and it bubbles over with youthful passions shaped into mature songcraft. It’s nothing less than astonishing how much maturity Madyx brings to the arrangement, singing, and songwriting on “Girl Boy”, yet keeps it relentlessly entertaining throughout.
You can hear influences ranging from Pink to Katy Perry in Madyx’s music, but it has already moved a step beyond such comparisons early on. Real artists, in any medium, transmute their influences through experiences and phrasing of their own and emerge with work that lightly echoes their predecessor while advancing its finest strengths in an idiosyncratic way. We have all that and more with Madyx’s “Girl Boy” and it promises her next EP will be a quantum leap from her stellar debut in every aspect.