Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

cover art


We've Been Nothing

(G Records; US: 5 Feb 2013; UK: Import)

The second offering in a four-part EP series, Madison’s We’ve Been Nothing is nothing if not interesting. A DIY pop effort – and a sumptuous one at that – the record carries with it the heightened production quality of mid-‘90s bubblegum pop, the mindless ass-shaking rhythms of modern radio and a penchant for pristine and pitch-perfect vocals. A surprising counter balance of ruminative storytelling contributes a depth not often heard within such comparisons and when executed with the help of her dynamic backing band, the singer to resembles more of a sultry Carly Rae Jepsen than say, the organic timbres of Kelly Clarkson.

In the same spirit, We’ve Been Nothing plays like an EP full of deep-cuts – not necessarily filler, but unlike most pop manufactured for mass consumption, the infectious single is nowhere to be found. One can make a case that argues this as a simple by-product of Madison’s artistic integrity – a valor that would sets her apart from this crop of up-and-comers–but a more likely scenario is that the artist has yet to fully develop into an adept song-writer capable of producing hits.

After 17 minutes of dilettante chatter and less than a handful of inspired moments, it’s easy to imagine the audience this kind of music will undoubtedly appeal to: teenagers with enough know-how to discover vapid pop outside the garden wall of mainstream radio play, and music supervisors looking to add an edgy backdrop to television’s latest portrayal of Manhattan’s elite. If Madison is to develop into an artist worth the time of a broader audience and most importantly, any semblance of respect from the music world at large, a growth that comes only from executing songs catchy enough to demand such attention must be achieved.


Julio Anta is an arts and culture critic living in New York City. A fervent record collector, he often contributes to Modern Vinyl, a vinyl centric news and reviews website. His writing has also been published by Prefix Mag, Substream Music Press and Punk News. Most of his work can be found at

Now on PopMatters
PM Picks

© 1999-2015 All rights reserved.™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.