One of Melbourne’s most exciting products of recent times, Madi Leeds, has released her first single of 2020, Spinelli. The song has emerged from a batch of tunes written over two years ago, following Spinning, her 2017 EP.
It may be the early stages of her blossoming career, but Leeds has quickly developed a knack for weaving complex, dark ideas through a tapestry of upbeat and energetic synth-pop. Spinelli certainly does not appear to be an exception to that rule.
Madi Leeds has released her first 2020 single, Spinelli. The track is a surreal exploration of mental health, woven into a tapestry of dreamy, infectious synth-pop.
Growing up, Leeds spent her time immersed in a colourful combination of Disney musicals and 90s pop-culture. These themes are instantly recognisable in this release. For instance, the song’s title gives a nod to Ashley Spinelli from the classic 90s cartoon, Recess! Donned in Spinelli’s iconic orange tee/leather jacket combo, the track explores Leeds’ episode of mental turmoil during a Halloween party some years ago.
Thematically, Spinelli tackles the feeling of potent isolation during a vibrant social setting. The irony of enduring this experience whilst dressed as a favourite childhood character only adds to the surreality, as the whimsy of juvenility finally collides with the insecurities of young adulthood. Leeds expertly navigates these themes with equal measures of brutal honesty and sarcasm. Her sense of humour only adds to the track’s earnestness, and prevents it from bogging down in a puddle of dread.
Spinelli represents this idea musically, also. An infectious, synth-driven instrumental juxtaposes the lyrics perfectly. Meanwhile, subtle harmonies decorate the mix into a rich soundscape, bordering on dream-pop reminiscent of Beach House or Cocteau Twins. It’s a crafty arrangement that demonstrates Leeds’ musical history, having received training in both classical and jazz.
If Leeds’ incredible awareness of tone and meaning wasn’t already clear, the accompanying video rounds things out wonderfully. A one-take shot captures Leeds repeatedly cycling around a circular bike track. The clip interconnects the theme of negative thoughts and their dizzying nature, rotating through the mind uncontrollably.
With Spinelli, Madi Leeds has truly established herself as an artist with a clear vision for her craft.