Macabre Americana
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Macabre Americana

New York, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2017

New York, New York, United States
Established on Jan, 2017
Band Americana Folk




"Macabre Americana Confront Dark History on "American Train""

There’s a lot we don’t know about our own American history; dark truths hidden far beneath the rubble that carried us to our present. That’s why folk outfit Macabre Americana formed — they’re slinking deep into the shadows of history to unearth untold stories and turn them into song.

Though their roles often change due to their multi-instrumental jack-of-all-trades lineup, Macabre Americana typically consists of Lacey Madden on guitar and vocals, Blake Pfeil on keys and vocals, Laura Dadap primarily on cello and vocals, John Gilmartin as bassist and engineer, and Willy Coon on percussion. The NYC-based band is practically dripping with talent, its members having already come to the project well-versed in sonic success. Together, they comprise a dark folk band crafting one-of-a-kind foot-stomping compositions doubling as theatrical tellings of history. It is indeed a craft, each member molding their specific talents to fall in line with each other’s — the result a stunning array of Americana expertise unlike anything you’ve heard before.

What the members of Macabre Americana are doing is important. They’re gently delivering a tough-to-swallow history and simultaneously encouraging a call-to-action, urging listeners to consider these stories and adopt things like empathy and understanding. We’re on board with this mission, so we’ll be covering Macabre Americana’s work each time they release a new track over the next few months. We’re genuinely excited to learn and listen — we hope you are too.

Their first official single, “American Train,” premiered at their last Rockwood Music Hall performance this week. It’s a searing alt-rock track buzzing with gritty outlaw rhythms but softened by the lush twang of three-part harmony. There’s a major instrumental camaraderie here as each element — so rich and robust on their own but magic together — merges for high-powered Americana edge. Lacey’s powerhouse voice betrays equal moments of dreaminess and gravel, a versatile vocal play that allows her to lead the arrangement anywhere she wants, whether that be to the quick jam of keys or the wail of a rocking bass line or any number of other countrified combinations. The band plows along like this, serving up a fiery composition to deliver history upon as the vocal trio paints a busted portrait of the erring American dream. Laden with dark folk rhythms and mesmeric harmony, “American Train” is thick with the grit and grime of, well, macabre americana, though the band transform it into something strangely beautiful. - The Music Mermaid

"Macabre Americana Release Soulful Folk Single "Maxine""

In case you’d forgotten, we are happy to be hosting Macabre Americana on a single tour of sorts this year — we’ll be covering one new single from the band every month because we think what they’re doing is important and we want you to know about it.

Last month we covered the Americana band’s first single of the new year, “American Train,” a powerful folk narrative told with major dark-country vibes. Today, Macabre Americana have released “Maxine,” an addictive composition begging for a theater adaptation. It’s the kind of sunny, sparkling, three-part harmony number you’d watch play out on stage by dozens of talented performers. This is part of Macabre Americana’s magic — not only can they seamlessly transition from genre to genre, but they do it from the mind of a dramaturge. “Maxine,” specifically, abounds with histrionic flair.

“Maxine” opens with a groovy bass line followed by a quick smash of percussion rolling in layers before Macabre’s signature harmony comes in. Each voice is strong and clear like a bell, holding note stretches and breathing life into an arrangement that doesn’t seem like it needs anymore, considering how fresh and rich it is, but life is what Macabre bring to everything. Throughout the track, new moments of rhythm are added here and there — we get the shimmer of tambourine, fast-paced acoustic strums, the plink of keys keeping the pace, all elements designed to flavor a robust soundscape of jangling folk fueled by heart and soul.

Beyond the music, though, is the message. Like all of Macabre’s work, it touches on history, thoughtfully peeling back the layers of our American past to shine a light on people, professions, and moments that make a difference. “Maxine” is a sweet ode to journalists everywhere, says Macabre Americana, recognizing the great responsibility they bear as writers sworn to uncover the truth… which is exactly what the band accomplishes with every release. - The Music Mermaid


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


I’ve been away too long
I don’t know the language
I don’t know the song…

The first refrain in “Centralia” (from the eclectic, versatile catalog of Macabre Americana) serves as the catalyst for the group’s genesis.
One rainy-night conversation/jam session has since evolved into a bigger, unexpected beast. By the 2017 AIDS Walk (where Macabre Americana found itself as a featured act), a fully-realized sound had been unearthed, and a new kind of sound was born: folk fusion.

What started in the living room of Lacey Madden (guitar/vox/social media + merch director) and Blake Pfeil (keys/guitar/vox/marketing + booking director)-- who were NYC roommates at the time-- became a developing force: Laura Dadap (cello/bass/kazoo/accordion/vox/finance + merch director) quickly joined them, followed by John Gilmartin (bass/technical director), and Willy Coon (rhythm/administrative + rehearsal director). During 2017, the group, equipped with over fifteen original songs, began the initial phases of recording their debut and laid down their first track, “Centralia,” the first song the group ever wrote.

A year later, and after a successful Indiegogo campaign, the group began to record the remaining songs to be released in their first batch: “American Train,” “Maxine,” “Natural Disaster,” “Mother,” “Black Dog,” and “Oscar.”

With a residency currently in motion at Rockwood Music Hall, a person(all) series profile, and the announcement of their first single “American Train” hitting the internet on December 17th, 2018, Macabre Americana continues to expand, transform, and respond to the world around them, with big plans for 2019.

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Band Members