Brooklyn psych-soul outfit Madam West
create fun, hypnotic and danceable music. You can listen to tracks like "Home" while sipping lemonade on a summer afternoon, or space out in your living room to jams like the "The End."
"Darlin," off of their debut Not Pictured
EP, is a groovy ode to a love interest complete with warm Rhodes textures via keyboard player Todd Martino and passionately belted vocals via vocalist Sophie Chernin. Drummer Mike McDearmon lays down a fat pocket with some fancy hi-hat work and the whole thing just gels.
The video takes a darkly comical angle on the track, picturing an unsuspecting dog-walker and her creepy, obsessed stalker. The victim's outfit is fun and vibrant, her dog wienery and adorable. The stalker proudly peers from behind trash and trees as people pass by her, adding a pleasant level of ridiculousness. I appreciated the Talented Mr. Ripley-esque ending in which the creeper kills her target, puts on her clothes, and proceeds to embrace her new identity. The death was a bit unexpected given how saccharine the song is, but I still dug it.
Madam West are currently recording a full-length album and prepping for a handful of upcoming show dates. Check out some grisly stalker murder in the vid and read our exclusive interview with Madam West below.
Baeble: There's a fun, campy energy to the video. Are there certain filmmakers that inspired your approach to the video?
MW: We didn't really take after a specific director's style; it was more
about capturing the dynamic of setting a murder scene to an upbeat love
song. But it's been getting compared to "Single White Female" - so I guess
we unintentionally copped Barbet Schroeder (I had to Google that!). Our
cinematographer Flemming Laursen and director Christine Lockerby both did
an amazing job making everything look so kooky and beautiful at the same
It's hard to nail down Madam West's sound. It seems like jazzier, late period Fiona Apple arrangements with tUnE-yArDs esque vocals minus the looping. Who are your influences as musicians?
tUnE-yArDs is great - we definitely listen to a lot of Merrill Garbus.
Our keyboard player, bassist and drummer all come from jazz backgrounds,
which certainly contributes to our style. Lately we've been listening to a
lot of "future soul" - Hiatus Kaiyote, Xenia Rubinos, and Thundercat, to
name a few.
Does the adorable wiener dog belong to a member of the band and if so what's it's name?
Yes, the wiener dog belongs to our keyboard player, Todd. His name is -
don't laugh - Elliott Smith. Todd and I both named our dogs Elliott Smith
before we met and formed the band. (It's ridiculous). This film actually
wasn't Elliott's film debut - he was in my roommate's student film as yet
another murder witness.
Madam West dates:
4/1 Palisades (with Scherzo, Alarke, Love Spread)
4/18 SpiN NYC (with Oh! Mega, Jangula)
5/16 Baby's All Right (afternoon show with Looms, Napoleon, Scherzo)
6/17 Knitting Factory (with Piers, Looms, Frog)