It’s rush hour. The car horns are blaring, congestion is building. And while the beating summer sun cooks the inside of her car, Madeleine Amber Socha is writing her latest album, Musings, a “breakup album minus the breakup.”
Socha attributes her songwriting ability to her sense of introspection.
“I use songwriting as a way to sort of sift through the mush that is all of my feelings and thoughts and create something tangible out of it,” Socha said. “I think there might be something about moving forward that allows the ideas to flow naturally.”
The indie alt-pop singer graduated from UT with a degree in sustainable studies in 2018 and has since started her own band, Socha — a name she believes has killer ring to it.
Maddie Socha lives and breathes within her artistic mediums and channels that energy into Socha. The music she creates with her band helps align her pervasive emotions and spirits that nested around the time she was writing her three-part album.
“The Musings album was written in the months leading up to and following a breakup,” Socha said. “Most of the music is focused on my inability to handle the emotions that were coming up for me in a healthy way and the exploration of how such seemingly ‘bad’ moments are a part of this ebb and flow of life.”
When she fleshes out the song’s foundations, Socha meets with Jim Hampton, her lead guitarist. Socha initiates the vision of the band’s songs, and with the rest of the group, she begins to lay down the framework of their sound. This chemistry runs through as the sounds merge for the climax of “Closure(?),” the first song on Musings.
“She has a concrete idea of how every song, every guitar part should sound and feel, but she doesn’t usually come with a guitar part written beforehand,” Hampton said. “There’s a process of translating what’s in her brain into a guitar line, which is a fun musical puzzle for both of us.”
For Socha, the music transcends the recording and lives within the performance. In an era where artistic mediums are found within digital spaces, the band incorporates multiple facets of art to their live performance.
Maddie Socha grew up watching Regina Spektor, a Broadway legend. Like the famed performer, Socha uses every tool in her belt to make the song live past the lyrics on a piece of paper as she approaches the stage.
“Incorporating music with other mediums increases people’s ability to empathize with it,“ Socha said. “Experiences come with all of these smells, sounds and visuals, and I like my art to be a reflection of that.”
Meggie Copeland, a dance artist in Austin, collaborated with Socha to perform a song in Musings, which was an emotional reflection to the lyrics.
“Her body moves with such grace and expression,” Copeland said. “It’s true and fluid.”
Most starting indie artists don’t make animated videos or choreographed dances — a risk that Socha welcomes.
“When I book shows, I get really excited about making them a whole experience,” Socha said. “Why spend your life fighting others for space when everyone is working toward the same goal?”