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Burlington, Vermont, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Burlington, Vermont, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Pop Indie




"The Transformation of Madaila's Mark Daly"

Mark Daly's shirt is a little disappointing. There's nothing wrong with it, exactly. The muted gray cotton Henley is stylish enough, with blue sleeves pushed up to reveal a modest forearm tattoo. It's just kind of drab, is all, at least compared to the getup you might expect from the flamboyant and often garishly attired Madaila front man. But in his civvies, Daly is wholly unassuming. Seated in the shadows of a dimly lit booth, he's easy to overlook in a bustling Burlington coffee shop — and I almost do, nearly walking right past him. Here he's just another bearded twentysomething with thick-rimmed glasses, huddled over a notebook sipping fair-trade coffee.

Onstage, though, Daly is a dynamo, a whirling dervish of neon Spandex and goofy dance moves. Backed by his powerhouse Burlington pop band and typically sporting the loud, confetti-blasted blazer that has become a signature, the man is almost a caricature — or, at the very least, a character.

"When I first started this I was trying to be Tat Fader, who was this character I'd made up," reveals Daly, a wry grin creasing the corner of his mouth. "For a while I thought I'd be Tat Fader and not Mark Daly. But then the two sort of intersected and I didn't have to play a part all of the time. Which is good, because I imagine that could get tiresome."

Depending upon your taste for high-strung rock-and-roll theatrics, Daly's stagecraft could be seen simply as gleeful showmanship or an example of post-hipster irony gone awry. It may be a little of both. But there's another, equally likely possibility: The man seen bounding across local stages like the love child of Barry Gibb, Ziggy Stardust and a Flashdance extra is Mark Daly distilled to his essence.

"When you strip it down, it's really just me," he says.

Live, Madaila are composed of Daly and Burlington scene veterans Jer Coons, Eric Maier, Dan Ryan and Willoughby Morse, and often "extended family members" Haley Ahearn and Josh Weinstein. Each will be onstage — in all likelihood bedecked in headbands and neon Spandex — for "The Dance," the band's blowout release party for its debut record, also called The Dance, at Burlington's City Hall Auditorium this Friday. But the album, for the most part, really is just Daly.

Coons and Maier, the cofounders of Future Fields, the local label/recording studio that is releasing The Dance, engineered and produced the record. And each contributed some minimal degree of instrumental help. For example, Coons, who also performs with songwriter Caroline Rose and, along with Maier and rapper Learic, is in the hip-hop band the Precepts, plays exactly one note on the record. "But he played it really well!" says Maier.

Otherwise, every smooth, Miguel-like melodic turn, every pulverizing Arcade Fire percussion breakdown, every snarling guitar solo, synth orchestration and chorus of voices (see: Prince, Radiohead, Fleet Foxes, respectively) is conceived of and executed by Daly. And despite an array of influences as colorful as his amazing Technicolor dream coat, it's all designed for a singular purpose. Daly lays it bare with a statement of intent on the first line of the album's first song, "International Lover."

"I'm here to make you moooooove," exhorts Daly over a swelling crush of beats both organic and synthetic. It's not the last time on the album his multilayered falsetto bears an eerie resemblance to Bon Iver's Justin Vernon. But the upbeat sentiment and danceable feel is more in line with another of Daly's influences: Justin Timberlake.

"I love JT," says Daly, beaming. But that's an admiration he was previously unable to indulge, at least through his own music.

Daly, 28, was formerly the lead singer of the Vermont indie-rock band Chamberlin. In 2011 that band ranked among the state's few nationally known commodities, thanks in part to its association with Grace Potter & the Nocturnals. GPN guitarist Scott Tournet produced the group's debut, Bitter Blood, which was recorded in a remote Vermont cabin. He also brought Chamberlin on tour with GPN.

Before hardly anyone in the Green Mountains knew who they were, Chamberlin were playing to thousands at major venues such as the Fillmore in San Francisco. But the band's overnight success was a case of too much too soon. Almost as quickly as they ascended, Chamberlin fell apart. By late 2012, they had broken up.

"Who knows if it would have been better to lead up to all of that?" wonders Daly of Chamberlin's rapid rise and fall. "It started out so surreal and amazing, then harsh realities hit us."

In the aftermath of the breakup, Daly retreated again to a remote Vermont cabin — this one, coincidentally, just down the road from the Chamberlin cabin. He holed up for a month to write his way through his emotions. The session proved therapeutic, even though he never released the album he wrote.

Daly then lived for a short while with his dad in his hometown, Middlebury, which he calls a "strange transitional period." That's true beyond the Beautiful Girls-like nature of grudgingly going home. He began to transition musically, too, experimenting with many of the same danceable electronic elements that now characterize Madaila.

"Through all the vulnerability and uncertainty came the freedom to explore," Daly explains. "I was purely writing for myself, which felt really cool."

"He's always had a freakish knack for visualizing something and bringing it to life," says Maier of Daly. Maier, who was also a member of Chamberlin, grew up with Daly in Middlebury. The two were bandmates in a high school group called Pale Moon — a "classic Vermont jam band" named, says Daly, for its members' tendency to moon unsuspecting Middlebury College students. Maier says Daly has always had a certain, ahem, cheekiness about him. But with Madaila, he's truly explored that trait, musically speaking.

"This feels like the music he was designed to make," continues Maier. "Chamberlin was really cool music, but there was always a tension between who he was as a person and the themes of the music."

Where his writing with Chamberlin was often moody and downcast, Daly's new stuff had a markedly lighter, buoyant feel.

"I was using the material to lift me up and out of that rut," Daly says. "And it worked."

In early 2014, Daly reemerged as Plato Ears, a mostly solo act in which he — or maybe Tat Fader — played guitar and sang and pranced around in gaudy outfits over prerecorded beats.

"It was definitely goofy," says Daly. "But I was like, 'Screw it. I'm just gonna be myself and have fun.'"

"Mark's a unique person," says Maier. "He's super upbeat. The theme of this music is so celebratory and up, which matches who he is as a person more than anything else he's made."

Plato Ears was goofy. But it was also a critical coming out for Daly. As importantly, it set the table for Madaila ... eventually.

In August 2014, Daly unveiled DALY, a full-band version of Plato Ears, at Burlington music festival the Precipice. In short: They killed it. Following a bombastic set, DALY were the stars of the festival and instantly became one of the Queen City's buzziest bands. Then, during a successful October residency at Nectar's, DALY learned of Daley, a British singer who, weirdly enough, also specializes in falsetto R&B-flecked indie-pop. Ceding to the time-honored showbiz rule of "The band that's done singles with Gorillaz wins," and wanting to avoid confusion around their impending debut album, DALY became Madaila.

"It's obviously a play on my name," says Daly of the latest — and hopefully last —moniker. "But it doesn't really mean anything. To me, Madaila just sounds like a flower."

As spring approaches, and with a dynamic record and touring plans in hand, it seems Mark Daly and Madaila are ready to bloom. - Seven Days

"Video Premiere: Madaila’s “Trying To Be Heard”"

Vermont based neon pop band Madaila released an awesome little album in March titled The Dance. Their latest single “Trying To Be Heard” is here and we have the video premiere. The 9 track album is filled with feel good danceable tracks that meld 80s pop, r&b and a nice dose of synth as well. Frontman Mark Daly has that addicting sing along falsetto compared to the likes of Frank Ocean.

The full band is comprised of Mark Daly, Willoughby Morse, Eric B. Maier, Dan Ryan and Jer Coons. Madaila reminds me of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. sans an extra singer and maybe a little less synth. Based on the pictures and videos of Madaila’s live sets, the vibe is going to be just as fun and awesome as Dale Jr. Jr. They both should totally tour together, that would be an awesome night. They both have upbeat addicting songs, and awesome videos, too.

Without further ado here is the video for “Trying To Be Heard” and a little mini album review as well. If you aren’t familiar with Madaila, get to know this talented and emerging neon pop band.

The Dance encompasses many styles and sounds throughout and besides all 9 tracks being upbeat and danceable, there is also a talented songwriter in the mix. There is actually an awesome lyric in “Trying To Be Heard” which could be tattoo worthy if you are into that kind of thing and it should be everyone’s life motto – “Well I’d rather die than to follow something other than my passions and dreams”. The video premiere track is memorable and by the looks of the video, would be a pretty great track to catch live.

“International Lover” sets the album off right with driving synths, beats and a soaring chorus introducing us to Daly’s awesome pitch. “Give Me All Your Love” is a danceable bass and synth driven track with a darker feel which sings of that relationship that you can’t help but going after even though it will probably end in disaster. The video is pretty epic with Daly being able to pull off that 80s neon and spandex vibe, too. “I Know” has that 80s vibe with a nice bassline that sings about someone that makes a difference in your life and you can’t live without them. The video is pretty epic including some awesome acrobatics complemented by Daly and his signature dancing.

The title track “The Dance” is bass and synth heavy and does make you well, just want to dance. “The Ride” is a nice ride of 80s keys, bass and synth along with a few claps and lyrical words of wisdom like “Take into account that there comes a time when you need to let it go, join the ride, join the ride – even when it’s not what you had in mind, prove that you can see your life through.” “Golden Boy” is a nice synthy bass driven track that speaks about the expectations that some parents might put on their kids growing up. “I Don’t Want to Rest” is about finding that one love that we are all searching for in life with a nice chorus and well that voice…that soaring falsetto voice behind a myriad of keys, bass and guitar. “The Beat” is a quickly paced track with almost a bit of rap weaved in with high pitched chorus’ speaking of losing sleep over that special someone. This one has a nice and danceable beat throughout with a great guitar solo about 4 minutes in – this could be classified as dance rock.

Madaila is right up my alley – I’m totally dating myself but I grew up with neon, spandex, the 80s and the idea of having fun and dancing. If you push play and listen to The Dance all the way through, head bopping will ensue. Not only does The Dance provide a nice set of poppy audible goodness, but the songwriting is also meaningful and memorable. We look forward to hearing more from this emerging pop band. If you dig The Dance, you can purchase it over on i-Tunes. - The Revue

"Burlington’s Madaila celebrates Dance’-inducing new album"

Burlington band Madaila, an R&B-flavored five-piece pop-rock group led by frontman Mark Daly, celebrates the release of its debut album, “The Dance,” at 10 p.m. Friday at Contois Auditorium in Burlington City Hall.

A varied and infectious nine-song set of upbeat, synth-heavy grooves and soulful stunners, “The Dance” is one of the more compelling albums to come out of Vermont’s Queen City in years. Daly shines bright – neon spandex aside – as an accomplished songwriter with mesmerizing falsetto vocal work that’s reminiscent of Frank Ocean.

“International Lover” and “Give Me All Your Love” serve up a powerhouse one-two punch as up-tempo openers, while “I Know” is a catchy highlight that utilizes a ‘70s disco sensibility to great effect. And “The Beat” rides a ‘70s AM radio vibe before delving into rock midway through. The soulful “I Don’t Want to Rest” is yet another catchy standout, as are the anthemic title track and “Trying to Be Heard” closer. - Rutland Herald

"Madaila - I Know (Music Video Review)"

A silver space suit. An aerial dance routine. A frontman embracing the his inner-middle schooler and dancing about. This isn’t what you’d typically expect from a new, indie-pop project from Burlington, Vermont, but you’ll be damn glad it’s what you got.

Madaila is the latest project from Mark Daly, former lead singer of Chamberlin, and a fantastic new addition to your regular 2015 pop rotation. Their first single, “Give Me All Your Love“, used a heavy rock intro to bring you in and Daly’s smooth vocals to invade that space in your head where pop-riffs stick around for days.

“I Know” relies on a similarly infectious combination of synth, a funky beat and, yep, Daly’s hypnotic voice to do the same. The video for the track is a testament to the band’s desire not to take themselves too seriously. While their songs may be about love desired, lost and gained, why should that prevent you from hopping on some cloth and swinging around for a bit?

If you’re in New York this weekend, catch Madaila at Rockwood Music Hall this Saturday. - All Things Go

"Madaila Ask “What If” With Super-Soulful New Single"

Ooowee! Vermont-based five-piece Madaila bring the heat with a brand new single we have the honor of premiering today, titled “What If.” Serving as the penultimate track on their upcoming full-length, Traces, “What If” is so, so smooth, a little bit sexy, and impressively soulful from beginning to end—although the same could honestly be said for a good majority of their upcoming LP. Regardless, just trust us—you will be feeling this slow-jam. Listen in below and let us know what you think.

Traces is set to be released on November 4. Whether it’s intentional or not, this album feels like the musical equivalent of a lighthouse purposefully erected to guide His Royal Badness back to us all, and we’re appreciative for the attempt. Seek out this album when it drops. - Substream Magazine

"Madaila Creates Lush, Danceable Psychedelia with Their New Track, “Woods”"

Since the Burlington, VT based psych-rock band Madaila dropped their first release, The Dance, in 2015, they’ve become hometown heroes—spoken of by critics and fans in the same breath as famous Vermontians Grace Potter and Phish. A sold out show at a local aquarium last Halloween fed the buzz, perhaps thanks to what the band refers to in their bio as the “freakier elements” that are unleashed when the five-piece takes the stage. Though their recordings are precise in their synth-washed layering, in practice, the guys like to take the time to jam, expanding on thoughts and pulling on loose threads in a no-holds-barred effort to get every single audience member dancing. Part of Burlington’s artist­-run label and management group, Future Fields, Madaila is gearing up to release their sophomore album, Traces, in October.

Today, Elmore is premiering “Woods,” the first single from the upcoming album. Languid, ever present synthesizer is overlaid with soulful falsetto to paint a lush, elemental soundscape for listeners. Madaila’s Mark Daly says of the track, “parts of “Woods” are quite dark. The verses talk about the noise and distraction of the modern world: the fast pace, the industrialism and the technology that blur the lines of reality. The emotion of the music matches the theme. Within all of this is a sense of hope – a sign of light; of a person or place that you can escape to, inside your mind, to help fight away all the noise. Even though it is dark and very “inside your head,” “Woods” has roots of a love song.”

Sweeping and orchestral in its unusual, drawn out format, Madaila calls to mind the gentle yearning of Bon Iver, but creates something fleshier, more psychedelic, skirting a line between beckoning you to the sweaty dance floor and begging you to simply tune in and drop out. In regards to how the song- the album’s final cut – fits within the work as a whole, Daly adds, “there is a theme of secrets in Traces. In “Woods,” I am revealing my hidden desire, my secret of where I would want to go to escape all of the dark things in life – almost a utopian place, or, in a heavier way, place of eternity or spiritual rest. In a way it is the perfect conclusion to the record in the conceptual sense of fighting through the dark to get to the light.”

Catch the guys at their Madaila on Main Festival in Burlington, VT on 9/4 alongside Marco Benevento, Lady Lamb and more - Elmore Magazine


The Dance - Released March 17, 2015



Pop juggernaut Madaila's debut record, "The Dance", is upbeat, synth-heavy, and catchy. Vocal skill and range are immediately apparent. But in the tradition of Prince and more recently Frank Ocean, there is an ornateness and occasional darkness to this pop music that exposes Madaila's complexity and musicianship. Tight arrangements and multi-instrumental performances showcase musical minds at work.

Tight spandex and technicolor attire showcase a different side. When playing live, both powerful and playful elements of Madaila are present as the five-piece finds the deeper possibilities within their concise recorded material. On stage, spontaneous expression and contagious melody coexist.

Madaila is part of Future Fields, an artist-run musical creation & amplification group based in Burlington, Vermont that includes Maryse Smith, Villanelles, The Precepts and Zac Clark.

Band Members