Yesterday was a really big day for local twang-rock fans. David Ponder of Somebody's Darling announced the band will begin recording their new album this week, The Old 97's released a song from their upcoming album. And Madison King let any who made it out to Deep Ellum's Twilite Lounge have a listen to her upcoming record, Onward and Upward, before playing a few songs from the album with a full band backing her.
Talk about an artist-friendly place to work: Just a couple of doors down from the Twilite, a massive mural of King brightens up a large brick wall. She held court for well over 100 people. With every crescent-shaped booth, barstool and most outside patio tables taken, King wasn't slinging drinks behind the bar as she might on a regular Tuesday night. But last night, she was making sure the tunes from her new record were being heard.
Many so-called listening parties end up being little more than knocking back drinks while the allegedly highlighted record inaudibly whimpers from a speaker in a corner. This was more than that. King's voice is a beautifully robust one. It's not a raspy howl or a whispered coo. That much really isn't a secret, but it's just become more evident on this latest effort. As great as King's 2011 debut, Darlin, Here's to You is, a greater sense of strength was apparent in the songs as they rolled on last night.
But her evolution is more than a vocal one. King's take on songwriting has adopted a more grown-up philosophy.
"I decided I wanted to refine the songs and make them accessible," she says as more people entered through the front door of the bar. "The record is 11 songs in 39 minutes, so I had to do things differently than on the last album to have some songs be ready for the radio."
The new record is still a couple of months away from arriving -- April 3, to be exact -- and it will be released via the brand-new, locally owned State Fair records, which will look to add other young artists from this area to its roster soon. Onward and upward, indeed.