Far From Things That We Know – Madi Diaz

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Madi Diaz's first formal introduction to the world is a humble three-song EP anchored firmly around around its lead track “Let's Go”. The kind of single meant more for an iPad commercial or an indie film soundtrack than traditional radio, “Let's Go” does everything but demand the perfect summery video montage. Held together by a series of smooth “oohs” and crisp guitars, “Let's Go” is the kind of song about leaving that inspires instant nostalgia. It also lends Diaz some serious credibility as a pop songwriter.

There's something equally nostalgic about Diaz as a singer: maybe she reminds you of someone you know, or maybe it's a case of deja vu. “Johnny” is a smooth and modern take on “The Leader of the Pack”, wherein Diaz begs the song's namesake not to “race tonight.” It's unclear whether Johnny's race is a metaphorical one, but the result is thoroughly pleasant in a fresh, guitar-driven manner that's more early 90’s Velocity Girl jangle than 60’s throwback She & Him kitsch.
Through all three songs, it's clear that Diaz's voice is the star of the show. Closer “Heavy Heart” is the only indication that a Diaz full-length (one is scheduled for early 2012) might have less momentum than hoped. It features a heady dose of beautiful vocals, but the energy falters when shrouded in a slow mope of a song, lilting and sad but without the punch of its predecessors. As a whole, Far From Things That We Know points to a promising future for Diaz, particularly when she succeeds in balancing the darker undertones with shimmer as she does on “Let’s Go”.