Idiosyncratic wrought scrappy indie with throwbacks to Bratmobile, cult-classic Brix Smith and contemporaries Cat Apostrophe? If this sounds like a win then read on.
Madame So has a year’s worth of outsider punk and DIY ‘tude that’s been building through EPs and singles. From 2019’s ‘It’s Not Even A Colour’, to last May’s ‘Generation Y’, a sound has been crafted, dismantled. Her early groundings of garage and punk have been split to their meanest lean jangles. It’s messy, un-pretty, direct and blunt… and it’s strangely, addictively hooky.
Seductive by lack of seduction, ‘You Say’ is a mess that should all fall apart but the mess and dirt holds it together. It’s a pop song on a shoestring, wrapped tight in duct tape, with Madame So’s voice at the centre. As she embraces her natural abrasive delivery, her words almost unhook from the song. Guitars, keys and drums all strop loosely around her, lurching roughly in line with each other. It’s an ill-fitting clatter of riot girl 90s and kinderwhore grunge that somehow just keeps its cohesion. Is it a pleasure to listen to? No. It’s unpolished and better off for it.
With a keen eye for harsh words and wiry thin riffs, an ‘I’m doing my thing so screw you’ attitude, and with sledgehammer lessons on race, generations and scenesters (and just about all in between), Madame So’s brand of force is infectious.