Track By Tracks: Madame Daley - Classic (2022)

August 5th, 2022 marked the release of NYC glam rock goddess Madame Daley’s newest release, ‘Classic’. With comparisons to Haim, Harry Styles, and Bowie, the Madame is one of the city’s most anticipated live shows and on-stage personas. Speaking about her debut EP, ‘Classic’, she shares with BTC what inspired each track. You can listen below each song or stream the whole EP at the bottom of this track-by-track.

1. Annie, Sing Your Heart Out Anyway:

I wrote this song about my grandmother Anne, who unfortunately passed away in 2020. She was a sweet but badass broad born and raised in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Annie loved to sing but was completely and utterly tone-death. It was always a playful joke in our family but she did not give a damn and I loved that about her. Her kids would say “Hey, it’s too crowded in here. Start singing Mom.”

Annie and my grandfather Joe were always so supportive of me and my music. They’d come out to crowded bars. They’d dance and sing loudly, especially to Sweet Caroline. When she became ill, I was inspired to write about her and her spirit. She loved everyone, even when she didn’t fully understand.

My mom told me a story about her a few years back that always stuck with me. After living in Greenpoint for decades, the family always hired the same handyman. Sometime in the 90s, that handyman became a handywoman. Though she didn’t fully understand the concept, Annie didn’t ask questions and offered her some extra makeup.

The song itself was the lead single because I wanted the introduction to the Madame to be colorful and unapologetic. That fun dancy spirit and sound will always be the homebase for any project that Madame Daley creates. It is very very glam.

2. Modern Day Dandy:

I wrote this during the pandemic after seeing the way celebrities were posting online amidst so much worldwide loss and grief. Nowadays not speaking up when you have a platform is unacceptable, so we get constant empty gestures from companies and insanely out of touch posts from celebrities and influencers. Activism in the modern age quickly became a commercialized bandwagon.

The meaning of Dandyism changes depending on the time period and context. The period I’m referencing is the term’s historical roots in England. Dandys were wealthy white men who cared about their appearance and participated in as much leisure as possible. They were purposely apathetic about the political issues. This type of person still exists but obviously in today’s climate can’t be upfront about their apathy. Although, it’s pretty damn obvious.

Despite the message of the lyrics, I wanted this song to feel bubbly and upbeat like it was tied up in a little bow in a world that’s burning - just like the life of a modern-day dandy.

3. Teenage Girls Made Rock n Roll:

This song is for every single woman in music who has been disrespected, dismissed, and taken advantage of.

Without female fans, more specifically young girls, so many bands and artists would be nowhere near as successful. They aren’t taken seriously. It's absolute bullshit. I feel like it’s especially true when it comes to classic rock fans. The gatekeeping is so dumb. People feeling superior for enjoying someone else’s art - Can you get any lamer?

I wanted the sound to reference classic rock for obvious reasons. It’s angry but not an all-out explosion, allowing it to be a bit more ominous and lurking. That’s the thing about a lot of the sexism going on - because this type of misogyny isn’t in your face, men assume it’s not happening. It happens in the shadows.

4. I Don’t Want It!:

I have struggled with anxiety and depression my whole life. I wrote this song after feeling myself slipping into a low spell once again. It all comes and goes, the good times and the bad…my ambition is to be creative! So, sometimes you just gotta dance it out and scream. Screaming, “I don’t want it” feels really good, give it a try sometime.

This tune is inspired sonically by 70s funk - I have always loved Commodores, Earth Wind, and Fire, Stevie Wonder, etc. You kinda just have no chance but to groove. Daniel Yoong played bass on this track and he just absolutely crushed it and Mike Davidson, my producer, came up with some killer horn parts. I am so happy with how it all came together. It has turned out to be one of the most fun songs to play with the Starchild Band - and that’s without horns. I think me and the gals may ascend to a new plain of existence when we get to perform it with a horn section haha.

5. Classic:

This track is actually the oldest of the entire EP. I wrote it in 2017, while I was still in college. The following year I took an Intro to Songwriting class that was a requirement for Music Business majors. I ended up using this song as my final class project where we had to play the song in front of the class and then get peer critiques. A lot of the class weren’t trying to be songwriters so the professor suggested they just make something fun. It was very low pressure. So there were a lot of silly songs, I remember a girl had written one about her dog being lazy. That being said, I had never had anyone listen to a song of mine and give feedback. I was really anxious but the response turned out to be really great. It was fun being in a room full of music fans and seeing which line got a reaction. I remember a guy wearing a Grateful Dead shirt smiling and nodding his head during the “head that was dead” line. There was a big reaction to the “in his champagne” lyric. It was just very cool and it was the first time that I was truly proud of my songwriting. It was the first time I felt like I had a future in it.

I used to say I wrote this love song about no one but my guitarist recently said “well I think it’s about your love of music and how you hope a person can make you feel that way too.” She’s not wrong. The idea I had while writing it was how we try to describe love and sometimes all we can manage to do is reference iconic music and movies. My mom, as a kid of the 80s, passed along her love of pop culture to me. She used to say I was a “classic beauty.”

It felt natural to name the EP after this song since Madame Daley calls back to a different time, both in sound and image.

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