Jaye Madison Releases “MIRЯOR: Framework”

Coming out of the ultra-hot country underground, Jaye Madison isn’t fazed by the contemporary eclecticism of music in 2023 – if anything, they’re more interested in embracing it than they are changing anything about the direction history is going in right now. In their new extended play, rightly titled MIRЯOR: Framework, these sister country crooners deliver a running commentary on emotionality, the modern alternative aesthetic, and personal subject matter that is anything but forced, and while they’re not the lone indie act you should be listening to this March, they’re one of the few to have released an EP of note in my opinion.

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/jayemadisonband/

The harmonies in the record-opening “Catch 22” and “Shadow Man” immediately made me think of alternative country icons of the late 2010s Roses & Cigarettes, with the latter exploiting shades of a similarly harmony-centric tone reminiscent of the pair’s most noteworthy moments. You can tell that these players have spent some time learning from their influences and predecessors without actually borrowing any of their traits to incorporate into a fresh sound, and compared to what a lot of mainstream artists would have just as soon tried, that’s emphatically more organic and original.

We get a pretty good balance of gritty tonality and crisp percussion in MIRЯOR: Framework, and in the case of “Catch 22,” the juxtaposition of the two is almost distracting over the firm lyricism in the foreground. Jaye Madison can be stealthy (“In the Grey,” “Devil I Know”) or as aggressive as they are in the aforementioned instances, and in either situation, they never sound flustered with the ambitiousness of the task set before them. This is a very swaggering EP by all measures, and for a group trying to survive in this cutthroat market, that’s telling of their potential for certain.

Lyrically, “Shadow Man” and “Devil I Know” allude to a deeper self-consciousness that I want this group to explore a little more than they already have in their next release. There’s enough to build an entire album around in MIRЯOR: Framework, and whether it’s just the tipping-off point for a full-length or merely a sample effort of what they’ve got in the tank for this next era, I think it would be a shame for mainstream audiences to miss out on what Jaye Madison have established themselves as here – multidimensional, unapologetic alternative country singers committed to substance above cosmetic over-stylizations.

DOWNLOAD LINK: https://stem.ffm.to/mirrorframework

A new EP that feels like an instant classic when played without any external interruption, MIRЯOR: Framework is one of my favorite indie country cuts out of the indie circuit this fall, and while it might not do much to elevate Jaye Madison into international superstardom, I don’t think it needs to for this band to get a lot of well-deserved respect and adulation from listeners and professional critics everywhere. 2023 has been the most unpredictable year this game has experienced in a century, but with an extended play like MIRЯOR: Framework, normalcy feels a little more within reach for this duo and everyone else.

Gwen Waggoner