When I first heard Cloud Nine, the debut single from New Zealand duo Madly, I couldn’t believe it was their first effort. It flows like water start to finish, a piece of starry-eyed electronica in the vein of Flight Facilities or Hayden James.
After a little digging I found out that Madly are Dahnu Graham and Suren Unka, two former members of surf rock outfit Beach Pigs. For my own sanity, I’m glad they have an EP and album to their names already. For them to output something so clean on their first effort would have been just… disgustingly envious.
With Cloud Nine, Madly are shaping up to be our newest addiction. When’s the last time you heard a debut single this tight?
Lead singer Graham’s voice is like pure electricity wrapped in molten silver, it’s the standout quality of this track for sure. Spicing up his siren falsetto with a luscious delay effect, you find yourself hanging on his every phrase.
Cloud Nine isn’t a song that necessarily gives everything away – the lyrics do fall back on repetition, but for effect rather than lazy songwriting. It lends a certain mystery to the subject matter, though something most listeners will definitely glean is Madly’s call for escapism.
It’s a theme realised in the music video, an impressive production directed by Eddy Fifield. It positions Graham as a man in distress, falling to drink, smokes, and high-speed car chases as means to feel something.
As magnetic as the song itself, Graham holds your attention like a seasoned star. I’d be very interested to see how Madly operate onstage, if not for their presence alone then a curiosity for their live setup entails.
Or maybe I just want to hear more of their songs, but can you really blame me? With the promise of an EP coming this year, hopefully I won’t have to hang out too long.