Hailing from the same stomping grounds as jam aficionados Phish comes a unique, five-piece outfit known as Madaila. Fresh off the heels of their sophomore album release, Burlington, VT natives Mark Daly, Willoughby Morse, Eric B. Maier, Dan Ryan and Jer Coons, will make their Capital Region debut at Putnam Den on December 16. Their 2016 release Traces hit the public just over a month ago on November 4 , following up their explosive inaugural effort, 2015’s The Dance.
Although Madaila doesn’t fully embody the typically “granola” association of Vermont musicians, they take their roots and expand on them in a way that makes their sound and image truly unique. Members of the band run the local Future Fields studio, a musical hub in the midst of Burlington where The Dance was crafted. Their catchy and synth-heavy tunes undoubtedly display their musical intelligence.
At one moment, vocals can be reminiscent of Justin Vernon in Bon Iver paired with electronic nods to Passion Pit and Tame Impala. The next moment, however, will toss you into a thirty second jam reminiscent of their geographical origins. Throughout their music videos, the group has honed the talent of playfully moving between serious musical elements and all-out splashes of fun, knowing how to take their craft seriously, but not necessarily themselves. Many videos like “I Know” and “Give Me All Your Love” find band members dressed head to toe in eye-popping color schemes and patterns, resembling anything from an 80s dance party to a Lisa Frank fashion show.
These psych-pop steamrollers on the rise have curated a generous amount of buzz in a short amount of time and have plans to kick off their first gig in a string of six at the Den. More NY dates follow at Port Chester’s famed Capitol Theatre and Arlene’s Grocery for an extra Phishy NYE run after party. This year comes to a close with two New Year’s stops at hometown venue Higher Ground on December 30 and 31, following the legacies of fellow VT musicians Grace Potter and Twiddle who have filled the same slot in previous years. Madaila kick off 2017 with January appearances at the Press Room in Portsmouth, NH and StageOne in Fairfled, CT.
This Friday, doors open at 8:30PM with a 9:30PM show to follow for an 18+ crowd. Tickets are $10 with $5 surcharge for those under 21. If you are unfamiliar with Madaila, quickly become acquainted because their Putnam Den debut is not one you want to let fall through the musical cracks. Frontman Mark Daly and Madaila management/production/keys player Eric Maier lent some time to NYS Music to detail their latest album, how to correctly pronounce “Muh-dey-luh” and, of course, how being a phan helped shape their musical journey. ‘Madaila doesn’t sound a lot like Phish, but we are super weird people who resonate with the example they’ve set.’
Alyssa Ladzinski: For those who don’t know your music, what would you like them to know about you?
Eric Maier: We call our music “psych pop”. We like it to be at times catchy and at times exploratory. Our live show is important to us. We’re from Vermont! We make our music at the studio we run in Burlington, Future Fields.
AL: How was recording your 2016 release Traces different than the process of 2015’s debut of The Dance?
EM: We made The Dance before we put our live band together. Mark played every instrument, which was annoyingly impressive. Haha. Jer and I produced the record. We had input into the sound, but it was much more the product of Mark’s wild imagination. Traces also started in Mark’s freaky brain. But we made Traces after having been a band for a year and the record reflects that. Mark’s writing and arrangements were influenced by the growth and cohesion we have developed on stage. And, more directly, each of us plays on the record in ways that display our musical personalities. All of us see our responsibility as being to help “nurture” something birthed in Mark’s mind. Traces reflects a more mature version of that!