Madison King
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Madison King

Dallas, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Dallas, Texas, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Americana Country




"Madison King"

Perhaps more than any attribute making Madison King's songs burst with cochlea-catching appeal is the unvarnished honesty that pops from them. It's in her lyrics, and it's in her retelling of significant events from the past few years of her life, especially since the release of her twangy 2011 debut, Darlin', Here's To You. And it's in her narrative: This, after all, is the woman who, as a 5-year-old girl, shocked her parents by singing Aerosmith's version of the ribald Bull Moose Jackson classic "Big Ten Inch Record." She asked for her first guitar a couple years later.
King's new album, Onward and Upward, released on the new and locally owned State Fair Records, is a slick beast that often charms while proffering tales not as sunny as they initially seem. The pure craft is but one of the areas where King has improved, with the help of recent heartbreaks and fruitful bonds of friendship.
Then there was that barely missed shot at being showcased on NBC's The Voice in the fall of 2012, which helped this new phase of her life -- both artistically and personally -- find its course.
"I was officially a contestant for the show, because I wasn't actually cut," King says of her six-week stint in Los Angeles. "But the girl who literally went right before me on my day of filming filled the last spot on a team so I didn't get to audition. It was a weird and devastating experience, and it took me a long time to normalize after I got home. However, now I am really glad I did it. That experience is definitely what motivated me to put out another record. I came home and was like, 'You know what, fuck that. If I'm not going to do this, it's going to be because I decided not to do it, not because some producers didn't think I was interesting or good enough to be on television.' It really lit a proverbial fire under my proverbial ass."
After deciding to cut a new record, King used her new perspective to create an album very different from her debut. It indeed eschews the rootsier vibe of her first album's most rawboned offerings, in favor of tight melodies that beg to be sung along with. It reveals in King, a lifelong Dallasite and bartender at Deep Ellum's Twilite Lounge, a truckload of confidence, especially in her bolder vocals. A different King was making a different record with a different mind-set and, perhaps most important, a different goal in mind.
"I did try to make this record quite a bit more poppy than my first record," she says. "Part of that came from me just growing as a songwriter. I don't think there's any question that overall the songs on this record are just better than most of the ones on Darlin', and I do love that first record. But my new record is much more straightforward. There's no weird stuff in there. This one is radio-ready. They're pop songs, but they are honest and vulnerable."
That honesty is evident in her copping to something most songwriters wouldn't admit: a certain softening in order to make the tunes more appropriate for mass consumption. She wants it to be a hit. She creates, she says, so she can keep creating, spinning her story and tweaking her sound depending on where she is in life, what she is experiencing at that time. These days she wants to make some gut-wrenching tunes that sound great and are heard by a bigger audience than she's ever attracted.
"I just didn't want to make it harder for me to get the new songs to as many people as possible," says King, a graduate of First Dallas Academy (2005) and SMU (2009). "I took out the fuck-words, which was really hard for me to do. I held the high notes at the dramatic moments and sometimes it killed me to give in to the cheese, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't love it. I'm very proud of it. Paul Williams is an incredible producer and engineer and he worked his rear off making a record that we could really try and do something with."
Indeed, anger and compelling stories weren't sacrificed for the sake of winning over the populace. The gun-purchasing ass-kicker that starred in the lyrics of her first album is present and accounted for. "Sadness and anger drive me artistically far more than happiness or joy," King says. She laughs as she adds, "Happy people don't have time to sit around and write songs. I joke about the fact that I could have subtitled almost every song a guy's name."
"I think that it's almost a duty to write breakup songs, moving-on songs, not-moving-on songs and getting-cheated-on songs, because everyone goes through that but not everyone can write a song about it. I do have a few songs that are close to lovey-dovey, and they're some of my favorite to sing. But many more of my songs came from a painful place."
It's a perspective gained in these past, pivotal few years, a keen self-awareness as powerful as her resplendent voice.
"At 27, I'm more experienced, I'm less bitter, much more vulnerable and definitely more confident," she says. "I really think that shows in this record." - Dallas Morning News

"Lone Star Sounds: New music from Madison King and more"

Madison King makes it all seem effortless.
The Dallas-based singer-songwriter first turned heads with her 2011 debut, Darlin’, Here’s to You, a sophisticated take on alt-country that didn’t forsake personality or appealing melodies.
She’s back with that record’s follow-up, the eagerly anticipated Onward and Upward. If ever an album had a title that befit its creator’s circumstances, this is it — that King would remain anything approaching a secret after this album is impossible. “I’m here/I’m ready/I’ve got nothing to lose,” King sings on Chances, and although she’s ostensibly addressing a lover, the line carries just as much weight when considering her artistic trajectory. Onward and Upward is, simply, one of the best records to emerge from North Texas thus far this year. The Kickstarter-backed record, produced by Paul Williams at Audio Dallas, is also the first release of new Dallas indie label State Fair Records. King celebrates the release of Onward and Upward Thursday at Trees, with support from Dead Flowers and Dovetail. -

"Madison King"

The night began with an unexpected appearance from Dallas musician Madison King. In four quick songs – King said she had to go tend bar after her performance – she was able to win over the crowd with songs about well whiskey and taking risks in relationships.
Felder followed shortly thereafter and paid tribute to some of his greatest and most diverse moments in performance. With white hair blazing and a casual smirk, Felder effortlessly followed the scales of iconic Eagles songs like “Already Gone,” “One of These Nights,” and “Life in the Fast Lane.” - dc9


Still working on that hot first release.



Onward & Upward, the full-length sophomore release from

Madison King, is sure to be a breakthrough for the 26-year-old

singer/songwriter and Dallas native. Overflowing with one catchy,

tuneful song after another, the eleven tracks on Onward & Upward

are thematically forged in the joy and pain of love and loss... This

has been a time of growth and dating and getting my heart broken

and picking up the pieces and reflecting on what Ive learned along

the way. But there is an underlying hopefulness at the heart of the

album that streams directly from Madison Kings endearing optimism.

Madison started playing guitar at 8 years old, and began singing in

her teens. She learned and honed her skills by traveling down a wellworn

path. Growing up, the most natural way for me to practice and

get better at playing guitar and eventually singing was in church. It

instilled the confidence I needed to be able to perform original songs

later on..

Madison graduated from Southern Methodist University in 2009 with

a degree in Literature and has used it to become an extremely wellspoken

bartender. I started writing songs when I was 20 but it wasnt

until last year that I really decided that performing was what I wanted

to do with my life. Her first record, Darlin, Heres to You, was

released in 2010 to critical acclaim, landing her a spot on NBCs The

Voice, and earning radio play on AAA stations including top-rated

KXT 91.7 in Dallas-Ft. Worth.

Madison has shared the stage with such notable acts as Wanda

Jackson, Mark Cohn, Old 97s, Polyphonic Spree, Sandra Bernhard,

and Chris Carrabba. Madison lists her influences as Ryan Adams, Joni

Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Lauryn Hill.... really from all over the place.

I look to write accessible songs that are radio friendly that still have

substantial lyrics.

Band Members