Madison Cunningham — Who Are You Now (Aug. 16, 2019) Pamela MÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃéndez ÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃâ Time (22 Feb 2019)•⊆⊇•      Los Angeles~based singer/songwriter with sophisticated jazz, folk, and country influences.
Born: 1998 in Costa Mesa, CA
Styles: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Contemporary Singer~Songwriter, Alternative Singer~Songwriter
Location: Orange County, CA
Album release: August 16, 2019
Record Label: Verve
Duration:     40:18
01 Pin It Down   4:07 
02 Song in My Head   4:40
03 Something to Believe   In 3:58 
04 Trouble Found Me   3:14 
05 Plain Letters   3:38
06 L.A. (Looking Alive)   3:48
07 Dry As Sand   4:20 
08 Like You Do   4:09 
09 Common Language   4:27 
10 Bound   3:57
A Verve Forecast release; ℗ 2019 UMG Recordings, Inc.AllMusic Review by Marcy Donelson; Score: ****
•      In the two years between debuting her jazzy, nuanced folk~rock songs on the self~released Love, Lose, Remember EP and presenting her full~length Verve debut, Madison Cunningham was invited to tour with the Punch Brothers and Andrew Bird, perform on Chris Thile’s public radio show, and guest on albums by the likes of Bird, Matt Redman, and J.S. Ondara. For the unacquainted, the allure of her textured voice and sophisticated guitar playing is evident on said debut, 2019’s Who Are You Now. Also apparent are songwriting inspirations that range from Joni Mitchell and Jeff Buckley to Fiona Apple. The album reunites Cunningham with EP producer Tyler Chester, who previously collaborated with Sara Watkins, Blake Mills, and Julian Lage, to name a few.
•     She opens the ten~track set with “Pin It Down,” a groove~heavy look at a problematic relationship that features shifting time signatures, modest blues chops, and a sassy, radio~friendly melody. Like the rest of the album, it gets by with an efficient arrangement, in this case a spare rhythm section and intermittent electric guitar. Later, the quieter “Like You Do” makes do with threadbare acoustic guitar and violin. For something completely different, “Something to Believe In” is a theatrical, piano~based ballad (“If you need something to believe in/You can believe in my love”), and “Dry as Sand” opts for a late~night, brushed~snare half~whisper — at least until the appearance of a rumbling, noir~esque guitar solo more than halfway through. Mostly concerned with imperfect relationships, Who Are You Now is confident and intimate in terms of subject matter and expression throughout these variations, all of which put vocal lines front and center. And “Song in My Head” isn’t the only earworm (“There’s a song in my head/Oh, a line that never stops playing/I’m not sure how it ends”).
•⊆⊇•     “Poised and precise in her singing and ace guitar playing… Madison Cunningham might not conjure a comparison to Fiona Apple on first listen, but…with [her] wonderfully tangled imagery and cutting self~awareness, shows she’s an heir to that queen’s powerful throne.” — NPR Music
•⊆⊇•     “A voice that was reminiscent of Stevie Nicks... her set was sweet and filled with the energy that only comes from a California artist. ” — WXPN’s “The Key”
•⊆⊇•     “expert chugs of electric guitar... for fans of Aimee Mann, Joni Mitchell and Jeff Buckley. ” — Rolling Stone Country
•⊆⊇•     This past weekend 22~year~old rising guitarist and songwriter Madison Cunningham performed on “CBS This Morning: Saturday” in anticipation of her Verve Forecast debut LP, Who Are You Now, out August 16.
≅    Watch Cunningham’s recent interview and performance on AOL Build: 
Listen to her interview and performance with WNYC’s “All of It with Alison Stewart”:
•⊆⊇•     “The past year was a largely transitional one for me. It felt like all at once I was living in a new city and a new era of my life,” Cunningham explains. “Writing this record really forced me to take an honest look at where I came from, what my dreams and fear were, and who I was becoming as a result.” The album was recorded at Sonic Ranch studio in El Paso. “Madison ascended to another level at Sonic Ranch,” describes producer and multi~instrumentalist Tyler Chester, who has also worked with artists such as Jackson Browne, Blake Mills and Andrew Bird. Chester continues, “she left that week a young master, in total control of her musical identity and skillset.”
•⊆⊇•     The Orange County, CA native has performed as a duet partner with Punch Brothers’ Chris Thile on APM’s “Live From Here” and her list of champions has continued to grow, including Bird, Sara Watkins, Nickle Creek and the Milk Carton Kids’ Joey Ryan. During the summer of 2018, she was the sole opener for the entirety of the Punch Brothers’ 34~stop North American tour. Cunningham is currently gearing up for a string of dates performing with Bird, Calexico, Iron + Wine, Amos Lee and Lake Street Drive. Find a complete list of dates below.
•⊆⊇•     Cunningham first picked up a guitar at age seven, and by age twelve was singing and performing alongside her five siblings in church. By the age of fifteen, Cunningham realized songwriting was a passion she wanted to pursue, citing Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan as key inspirations. “It’d always been a hobby before, but around then, I realized I wanted to make it a religious practice,” she says. “I thought if I could capture some of their same spirit ever in my life, I’d have to work hard and every day.”