A senior at Ontario High School near Mansfield, Ohio, Quaylynn Madden has been working on her own album titled ‘Human Nature’, while she has released her debut single, “Puzzle Piece” on iTunes, Spotify, and YouTube. Madden, who has already recorded professionally on a kids album with the O’Keefe Music Foundation, writes her own music and lyrics, and has also learned to play various instruments, including piano, guitar and drums. Somewhere in the shadows of modern unsigned indie is, a netherworld where confessional singer-songwriters have the potential to become alt-pop divas. If you visit this place, ask for Quaylynn Madden. She is well-known to the inhabitants, for she is their aspirant princess.
Quaylynn Madden’s resonant vocals pulse and contract, buttressed by a slow finger-snapping groove on “Puzzle Piece”, as she blends her myriad of influences into a sound that is wholly her own. A spicy little confection, it is as powerful in its spaces between the notes, and between Madden’s vocal lines, as it is in the soaring choruses, or when the subtle harmonies drop into the mix like improvised surprises.
Madden dips into the intimate, with her smoky and passionate revelation: “You’re not my puzzle piece”. Stripped down, Madden’s passion is clear for all to see, in this deeply personal and confessional track. Vocal dynamics build up and descend seamlessly, as transitions and cadences maintain a cohesive feel, generating excitement.
This coupled with her powerful, heart-wrenching lyrics, show an introspective capacity that goes well above her seventeen years of age. It can also be said that Madden has a knack for executing dramatic full-throated passages and then suddenly switching to subtle breathy falsetto, showing off her immense talent.
Her voice is soulful and powerful without ever over-singing. At times she sounds like a veteran soul singer while at others, her tone and phrasing channels dreamier pop. Quaylynn Madden’s keen ear for melody, and her intricate song composition which treads the line between subtlety and dramatic catharsis make it a standout indie track.
Even during her most bombastic moments, Madden relies on her songwriting craft to avoid the repetitive monotony that often plagues modern music. These are nuanced voicings with unique stripped-down instrumentation, flourishes of harmony, and a resulting sound that is as introspective as it is emotionally propulsive.
It’s obvious that Madden isn’t afraid to touch on the frustration she’s confronted in a toxic relationship. The intense “Puzzle Piece” thus becomes a way to expel the anger inside of her. However it is also presents a moment of self-discovery and self-empowerment. This feels like a liberating record for a young person realizing she is strong.
Quaylynn Madden is a name that you do not want to miss. With the voice of a siren and a uniquely pleasing sound, she brings a sprig of sonic delight that you need in your life. The single, “Puzzle Piece” absolutely holds its own, and promises greater things from Quaylynn Madden in the future.