No one is born bitter and jaded. When we first experience the world we do so with a steadfast sense of wonder. We see the best in ourselves and others, refuse to be divided down arbitrary lines, find joy in even the smallest things, and live our lives believing that anything is possible. And yet, little by little, the innocence and optimism in all of us gets eroded. Often the cracks form so slowly that you don’t even realise it, until one day your inner cynic becomes the dominant voice – you begin to see the worst in everything, and ultimately ask yourself “When did I first take for granted, Another sunset on this twisted planet?“. It’s as inevitable as the rising tide, but that doesn’t mean you have to succumb to it without a fight. With the soulful ‘Skeptic’s Angels’, singer/songwriter Rett Madison offers a poignant moment of mourning for her own faith and innocence lost and asks the question “is it too late to believe?“. Taken from her debut album Pin-up Daddy, it’s another fine example of the fine balance between fire and fragility that is walked by her astonishing vocals. For many of us it gets harder with every passing day to believe in something greater and have faith in the good in others, but sometimes we all need to take a leap of faith to keep the light shining just a little longer.
Did you know that scientists can’t even begin to match the computing power of the human brain? We’ve seen technology advancing at an astonishing rate over the past few decades, but our own minds are still the most complex machines that we know of. Even 100 years from now we still might not be able to surpass what nature itself has made. Songs like ‘Kerosene’ make me look at music in much the same way. Hearing LA based artist Rett Madison’s vocals on this track, it strikes me that even after centuries of work from skilled craftsmen and artists we are yet to make an instrument to equal the human voice. Rett’s voice is the centrepiece of this track, and with it we are gifted with a gentle and charming country twang alongside stunning soulful crescendos. Between the pain, doubt and vulnerability you can feel in your very heart in the song’s softer moments, and the defiant, passionate force-of-nature chorus that fills the room, you’re left feeling caught in a maelstrom of emotion being dragged deeper with each listen. I can’t think of any instrument made by human hands that can do all that, can make you feel all that, but an incredible voice at the disposal of a supremely talented artist can do all kinds of miraculous things beyond our understanding.