Now singed to Pop Cautious Records, Jay Madera's music has managed to make its way across national radio stations and blogs. With his latest album, 'Anxious Armada,' Jay Madera mentioned that the album is his first artistic statement, striving to be a beacon for modern self-empowerment.
Our journey begins with the intro track, "A House Divided." While opening the album with incredible energy, Jay Madera takes on a more politically-charged anthem where he calls on proper leadership. Blissfully transitioning into the next piece, "You Make Sense," Jay Madera charged this song with the utmost soul and emotion. While singing of finding sanity in someone's presence, we move onto the next track.
Continuing with the heartfelt and passionate approach on the next piece, "Curb Appeal," we're taken into a down-tempo and dimly-lit sonic atmosphere with help from Madera's soulful vocals and accompanying instrumentation. Moving onto "The Next Great American Novel," Jay Madera offers us a highly conceptual and soothing acoustic piece, where he depicts the aches and pains of finding healing solutions through outside sources.
Through the next track, "Screensaver," a haunting sitar soaks our speakers in mystery while Jay Madera's soothing vocals puncture us with themes of realizing that everything is not what it seems. A beautiful piano melody opens the next track, "Half Staff," where Jay Madera begins singing a soulful and reflective tune while contemplating his future. Continuing with the harmonious piano melodies, the next track, "People In Your Place," delivers the album's most broken and introspective piece. Jay Madera offers timeless lyrical themes and tender piano melodies to get our hearts fluttering.
Reaching the album's climax with the five-minute cinematic masterpiece, "A Faithful Foil," Jay Madera spills his heart with lyricism depicting the struggle towards self-love and the inability to find it through others. Moving onto the song's second part, "Janus-Faced," Jay Madera fueled this continuation with heavily orchestral-rock instrumentals that liven our days with each spirited aspect. Turning down the tempo and energy with the next piece, "New Car Smell," Jay Madera offers yet another heartfelt and tender ballad while serenading us over harmonic piano melodies and soft drum patterns.
We absolutely adore each emotional aspect and genuine lyric that Jay Madera offers us within this album, especially within the next piece, "OH-126." While opening with soothing acoustic guitar strokes and Jay Madera's whispery vocals, he brings us into another emotional atmosphere as he sings of falling in love only to have it taken from him in the end. Reaching the album's outro track, "Sertraline," Jay Madera heightens the sonic atmosphere through this short interlude with help from crisp folk-rock instrumentals and the murmur of background conversations.
Throughout the entire album that is Jay Madera's 'Anxious Armada,' he soaked out speakers in heightened emotional turmoil, the savory sensations of love, and the hardships of finding confidence and faith once again. Find 'Anxious Armada' on all digital streaming platforms.
We're more than pleased with the variety of songs and atmospheres you've placed into your album, 'Anxious Armada.' When did you begin creating songs and concepts for this album?
This album is a pastiche of a variety of writing periods over the past five years. I don't really create overarching concepts intentionally, but I do think that my songwriting style has been consistently theoretical and metaphorical, while also being visceral and image-based. Each of the songs on this album came from a different headspace, different exploration of songwriting styles, and different instrumentation. The unifying element, I think, of these songs is my focus on lyrics. Sometimes I'll spend weeks on one verse or even one line of lyrics. Sometimes I rewrite, but usually, I leave it blank at first. I'll play that one line over and over until the lyric comes to me.
Did you work completely solo on your album 'Anxious Armada'? Or did you work with any songwriters, producers, or session musicians?
All of the song's lyrics and music are completely mine. I did work with Mia Carruthers, a fabulous producer, to turn my songs into fully-realized recordings, however. She did an excellent job of taking my demos and adding her own creative touches. I played a majority of the instrumentation on the album myself, but we did bring in an excellent group of session musicians for some niche moments on the record, such as the sitar on Screensaver, strings on Janus-Faced, horns on A House Divided, pedal steel on OH-126, etc.
Out of all the emotional songs within your album 'Anxious Armada,' is there a song that's the most personal to you and close to your heart?
All of them? Seriously, I am driven creatively by the intense experience of emotion I have when I sing these songs. But, if I have to point one out specifically, I will say that "People In Your Place" hits very close to home. It's all about the exposure and a subsequent 'cover-up' of interpersonal failures. The song is a reverie - a tangible recollection of extremely painful memories and their literal space in my world. I'd rather never talk about them But naturally, I instead sing about them for everyone to hear. You can hear the pain in the warbling of my vocal cords. We all go through crappy breakups, maybe I'm just complaining about them the loudest?
How did you want your listeners to feel and react to the overall project 'Anxious Armada,' from the emotional tracks to the uplifting folk-rock tunes?
If there is ever a 'goal' for artistic expression other than that expression, mine could be something to the effect of wanting those who listen to consider the conflict in their own lives in more detail. If we can just listen to how we are seeing our own worlds, maybe we'll be less numb. I think we're all going through our lives like Zombies at the strip mall. I don't feel I know any better than anyone, I just know that I've been numb before, and I'm still numb a lot of the time. That's the thing: the emotional novocaine always wears off eventually. That's why I'm attacking my own emotions through song. But you can really do it via any avenue you can. My god, it's so liberating to realize that we can feel something even when it's inconvenient!
What was the most challenging aspect of writing, creating, and recording the entirety of your album 'Anxious Armada?'
The most difficult part of the project was believing in the connection between how I heard the songs in my head and how I wanted the songs to be captured on tape. I'm hoping I did a decent job.