Written by Ashley Friedman

Today, Elicit Magazine has the pleasure of premiering Tennessee’s very own, Natalie Madigan’s first full-length album, What It’s Like To Be Known. The up and coming musician takes on a rollercoaster of emotions from finding love to losing love while searching to find oneself in the meantime.

“I think I decided in July of 2018 that I was going to make an album. Then came the LONG process of writing, recording, picking and choosing. There were probably 15-20 other songs that didn’t make the cut.”

Natalie Madigan

The leading track, “Nostalgia’s Muse,” starts with the sound of a heartbeat; it almost reminds me of a Lorde song with Natalie tieing into her lower register. It’s one of those songs that starts off slow, but then the bass kicks in. It’s rebellious sounding, wanting to find a different level of emotion, but not knowing where or how to start.

Natalie sings, “Don’t make me sink into it all again / I’m tired of being memories best friend / posing for a picture of my youth…”

“Almost all of the production was done either in my home studio or my producer Cody Smiles’. Every song on the album was started on my end, I recorded lead vocals, BGVs, piano, sometimes added beats, synths, etc. Then I would pass it along to Cody and he would add all the magic!”

Natalie Madigan

“Anyone” delves into that relationship that was “just for fun,” until emotions kick in. Natalie’s realizing how much she knows this person. It wasn’t meant to happen, but sometimes that fund turns to feelings and you’re trying to fight the fall, but it seems like you’ve already fallen.

The idea behind “I Did What I Did,” is almost like the Carrie Underwood song, “Before He Cheats.” The beat is a head spin come to life; sometimes you do something in a moment, and never think about the consequences until afterward. It’s silent satisfaction, but not a regret because in a way, you can still seem to justify it. It’s that I might be a little crazy, but you should see that I’m worth it type of song.

“Jaded” is the moment that you realize you’re changing, but you’re the only one that seems to realize it in a relationship. The other person is stuck in the same old same old, and you’re sitting there becoming a completely different person than when you started. “I want to feel, / I want to feel anything,” Natalies sings, “But, now I’m jaded / just like you…” She’s alone in her own mind, constantly searching for an answer as to why she’s chosen to live a certain way, feeling stuck, but not knowing why she hasn’t done anything about it.

“‘Jaded’ is the only song that has a different producer, Brandon Meagher. We finished this one at his studio in East Nashville. Production has always been a huge part of what I feel makes my music ‘me.’ I like to co-produce with my producers to make sure the songs sound how I envisioned them.”

Natalie Madigan

In “Appetite,” we hear Natalie delve into her higher register. It’s short and sweet and it’s a turn in the album where Natalie goes from being stuck in a state of trying to realize who she was and who she is becoming while sharing that moment with someone by her side.

“Clothes” is the heartbreak that comes with love, touching on the possible loss of love in a relationship. Like clothes, love that is brand new is exciting at first, but as time goes on, there’s wear and tear and it’s at that point that you have to make the decision to keep something or throw it away. “Finally finding something real / and it only lets you down,” Natalies sings, “Push away good things, and we’re never better off.”

My biggest hope is that this album makes people feel something. I really think there’s something for everyone on there. Whether they need to feel sad, empowered, sexy, or just want something to blast in the car – I think they can find all of these feelings in my album. I also hope to inspire other artists in the pop vein to make what they want to make, not feel obligated to write/produce only in the direction of what’s currently ‘in.’

Natalie Madigan

“Remember Why You Fell In Love,” is a way of Natalie trying to bring back the spark in a relationship by reminiscing on memories of why she fell in love with someone. In a way, she’s hoping to fall back in love through a timeline of memories.

“Then & Now,” is about that “young love” that fell apart for whatever reason. It’s a song that asks the question had you done things differently, knowing what you know now, would the relationship work out?

Last, but not least, we have the title track, “What It’s Like To Be Known.” Picture the moment in a movie where the character is looking back on their life; They’re not saying anything because they don’t have to, the sense of imagery is so strong that words just wouldn’t do it justice. It’s the timeline of events that led up to this one moment that seems to change your outlook on everything you thought you’d known up until this point, a realization. As waves crash in the background, Natalie sings softly, “When your heart breaks wide open/ and you’re scared of your own emotion, / but for a moment you don’t feel so alone. / This is what it’s like to be known.”

“…I was actually supposed to release an EP in the fall of 2018. I had worked all spring on it – it was a 5 song project called Value. About halfway through the summer, I realized how not-me the EP was. All of my songs sounded like somebody else, and the production process was really just trying to emulate the production of songs that were already popular. I had to kind of sit with myself and reevaluate why I was even doing music. I had lost the realness in what I was making. It was that realization that sparked the whole mindset behind the album. Every song is real and personal to me, and I have had an extremely close hand in production.”

Natalie Madigan

Preview Natalie Madigan’s What It’s Like To Be Known below and stay tuned for our interview with this amazing up and coming musician.

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