NYC native, Madeleine McMillan, crafts a refreshing taste of personable tracks penned from various means of reality and fantasy. Her latest passionate and piano driven single “Matchbook” continues invoking her signature sound of tender pop, all while dreaming around the “what ifs?” McMillian’s personalized songwriting seems to hail from her years immersed in music, as her start came from her grandparents purchasing a used grand piano. Teaching herself how to use the instrument and read music at the age of eight, due to the lesson books that were tucked away in the piano bench, McMillian’s nature with the keys seemed to be prewritten. “Matchbook” utilizes McMillan’s seasoned past fused with her imaginative notions.
“I went on a first date at a local music venue. The performing artist was handing out personalized matchbooks to promote their music. I hadn’t seen artists doing that before, and I thought it was brilliant! I kept the matchbook for inspirations’ sake. I never saw my date again. That was the first and only date with her. So, ‘Matchbook’ is fiction, in a sense. Fiction inspired by reality,” explains McMillan.
The track leads with a halting and longing lull, crossing territories into the realms of blues, as McMillan’s thick and emotive vocals set the scene revolving around the matchbook that came her way. There’s a somber sense of thoughts that emerge from McMillan — “You gave me everything I craved” — ultimately creating more of a wistful thread to a listener. “I wanted to capture the melancholy and passion that coexist so effortlessly when you leave a long term relationship,” states McMillan. “I enlisted the help of two brilliant co-writers (also co-producers on the song). We started the writing process by sharing all of our worst breakup stories. Not surprisingly, we found a lot of common themes.”
Built from past wounds and a soulful core, noting slight jazz structures and adoring peaks of crunchy guitar chords, “Matchbook” clings to the heart immediately. The delicate essence of the track alters by the first minute as McMillan bursts with the pop inspired hook, to only sulk once more beneath bleak keys. Ultimately, “Matchbook” is a heavy, loving ballad of remorse, swirled from a fictitious thought that has us questioning our own state of reality, gorgeously presented by McMillan.