Album Review: Madison Mcreary – Time + Tide

Madison Mcreary is a Hawai’i, USA-based indie folk artist who has just come to attention thanks to her recently released new album that explores the themes of dating, friendships and restlessness. It’s called Time + Tide.

By Graeme Smith

Madison grew up on a dairy farm in western Kentucky but has been living in Kona, Hawai’i for the past six years. She blends the influences of the two distinct parts of the US in her music, drawing on the famous Kentucky bluegrass and the Pacific island’s laidback style. The result is an intriguing mix of folk.

Each track on Time + Tide is about a different month of the year, so we naturally start with January. It’s a delicately intimate piece with a sense of nostalgia about it. Madison paints a beautiful picture with her lyrics and there’s a depth to them that demands further exploration. It’s a strong welcome.

Sweet Tea leans into Madison’s Kentucky roots, giving us a slow, empowering country ballad. The Tangled Part is a reflective storytelling track with a plucked melody. The Ocean Spoke to the Shore gives us a taste of Hawai’i with the ambient lapping of waves and lyrical folklore. Cleopatra sits at the heart of the album giving us a stripped back and upbeat tale of heartache.

Carolina is a wistful and adventurous story of romance while Elle gives us whimsy and theatrics. Ghost is a gentle ukulele-led number about regret and moving on, then we reach the end of the year with December. Wonderfully mixing Madison’s Kentucky and Hawai’i influences, it rounds off the album nicely.

I’m simply in love with Madison Mcreary’s music. Her song writing is thoughtful and rich in emotive expression. It’s delivered through charismatic vocals and pleasant instrumentals. If you like folk music Time + Tide is a must listen but there’s also something universal about it which means it will appeal to just about anyone.

Collaborating on Time + Tide wtih Madison is Emily Wills on backup vocals, fiddle, guitar, mandolin and piano, Chris Joplin on banjo, mandolin, dobro and guitar, Hadley Rouse on backup vocals and Matthew Wills on percussion and bass.

You can listen to the whole of Time + Tide below.