Madi Diaz: Phantom

Rarely has an album about being knocked down by life sounded so attractively catchy, but rural Pennsylvania-bred singer/songwriter Madi Diaz' Nettwerk Records debut pulls it off quite impressively. After stops in Boston (studying at the Berklee College of Music) and Nashville (where she self-released her first album), Diaz made her way west to Los Angeles, where musical dreams are made, but only by the lucky, the talented and those who are willing to let Fate make you suffer for it first. But Diaz qualifies on all accounts, as her new record proves.

Glossy production nicely shapes Diaz' dance-music flecked songs, which throb with subterranean bass lines, ear-tickling refrains and her own genuine, no-frills vocals. Her experiences navigating the big city, ranging from romantic trials and tribulations to the mere struggle to find the right living space in our sprawling metropolis, serve as moody subject matter throughout the album (as songs titles such as "Mess" and "Ashes" might suggest). But the tunes are so easy to digest it is no mere bitter meal. It is instead a statement record that declares her as an artist of note, and makes it clear, as she sings on "Wide," "this is not the end."

-Eric J. Lawrence

Track List:

1. Tomorrow
2. Stay Together
3. Mess
4. Dancing in the Dark
5. The First Time
6. Ghost Rider
7. The Other Side
8. Pictures
9. Wide
10. White Lightning
11. Ashes 

Photo courtesy of the artist.