Maddison Keiver — aka Maddisun — one of the Kootenays’ most prominent singer-songwriters, has taken her art to a new level with her second album, the newly released “Home Is Where The Music Is.”
Maddisun is set to hit the road in September for a series of shows in Vancouver, the Kootenays, and Toronto. This includes an official album release concert at Cranbrook’s Key City Theatre, September 9.
Written in Dublin, Ireland, and recorded in Los Angeles, California, the 10 songs on Maddisun’s sophomore release, as they call it, are enfused with the spirit of those two musical towns, but the album is nonetheless a personal expression of the artist at home in B.C.
Coming two years after the release of her debut album, “Self-Reflections,” Maddisun’s songwriting has moved forward, and in the direction she always intended. The journey to create “Home Is Where The Music Is” has also created a new level of maturity, both professionally and artistically.
“[The album] is meant as a concept that I got into when I decided what it was going to be,” she said. “When I wrote the theme song, ‘Home,’ I had this idea that I wanted it to be an intro — a concept song for the album.”
The songwriting is coming from a more organic, raw, emotive place, Maddisun says.
“When I wrote ‘Running,’ it was really like that. I said, ‘I’m just going to write what I want to write. It’s not ‘okay, this is going to be a hit song.’
“The songs are very experienced-based, what I’m experiencing in the moment; something I’m having to push through, being a female artist and not being heard — that happens a lot, wanting to be believed in, wanting to be heard. That’s a theme in my songwriting — proving worth — but in a positive way. It’s heartfelt.”
The best songwriting comes from a personal place, but also have a universal access in which one can see their own experience in the songwriter’s work. That is a goal of Maddisun’s with “Home Is Where The Music Is.”
“The song ‘Don’t Say No’ [for example] — it’s like an anthem. It has a message that I carried out over the release: saying yes to Life, taking a chance on yourself, saying yes to opportunities. That became a bit of a trend.
“I’m storytelling; something that people can relate to, but still from a point of vulnerability.”
The tools and the craft Maddisun has developed have provided a framework over which this emotive writing can settle. She’s also finding influence in her roots, in the music she grew up listening to:
“Dolly Parton, early Country, even some Blues, and not being afraid to let that classic sound come through.”
As far as her songwriting goes, the melody and the lyrics happen more or less simultaneously, though the idea for the lyrics is what initiates the song. “The melody often comes with the lyrics. With the song ‘Right,’ I wanted to write a really strong piano hook. But it all kind of happens at once.
Maddisun spent the first couple of months of 2022 in Dublin — where she used to live — on a songwriting retreat. Five of the record’s 10 songs were crafted there, in Dublin itself and in locations in the surrounding Irish countryside. She was back in Cranbrook for 10 days or so before heading off to Los Angeles, where she had been invited to go to produce her music with Chloe Chaidez and Nick Noto of PSY Sound. There, the songs she had written and the sounds and concepts she wanted were brought to recorded life.
Maddisun said the process of recording the album, at PSY Sound Studios and Savannah Studios, was very organic — right off floor, with Maddisun, Chaidez and Noto doing the playing. The accompanying LA music scene, though, is the music industry at its most intense.
“The world of today in music marketing is all about creating content,” Maddison says. “Social media, video shoots, photo shoots, industry meetings, meetings with influencers … it’s dialled up to 11 out of 10.”
The intensity of this journey — from Cranbrook to Dublin to Los Angeles and back to Cranbrook, certainly has had its effect on Maddisun professionally, artistically and personally.
“But these changes are great, because I stayed grounded. I didn’t lose myself. I didn’t lose my roots.”
Maddisun has had some time to relax back in Cranbrook, after navigating the creative opportunities of 2022, but soon it’s time to hit the road. She’s playing a show in Vancouver on September 3, then it’s back to Cranbrook. Her album release concert is at the Key City Theatre on Saturday, September 9, at 7:30 p.m. Joining her on-stage are Keith Larson on lead electric guitar, Ferdy Belland on bass, and Morgan Adair on drums.
Maddisun follows up the Cranbrook concert with a series of shows across the Kootenays, then it’s off to Toronto, where she has a gig at the legendary El Macambo on September 25.
“Home Is Where The Music Is” is available everywhere for streaming and for purchase on CD, Cassette and Vinyl. See more at https://www.maddisunmusic.com/