Jay Madera was signed to Pop Cautious Records in January after local buzz and national radio airplay with his first few singles. Anxious Armada builds on this success as the musician's first full artistic statement.
The album is marked by eleven tracks that spread outward toward broaching the status of our sociopolitical climate, then retreating back into internal confession. It is that 'push and pull' that becomes the quintessence of his work. Madera notes the dissonance in his life and divisiveness in his society, beginning with the album’s title. An ‘armada’ is an unstoppable fleet, it’s going to war knowing you are going to win. "So why is it anxious? Why does it implode upon itself?", asks Madera.
“This album is me. I’m showing my face...which feels impossible in our time. I’m releasing art in an age that simultaneously embraces extreme hyper-magnification of the self and, paradoxically, complete anonymity. There's a dichotomy there that seems important to take a look at. I don’t know how we got here, but that is really all my generation knows.”
Madera's unapologetic collection of songs reach emotional catharsis with heavy drum beats, rollicking vocal riffs, and an sometimes-genuine, other-times-ironic, delivery. The through-line, however, is Madera's realized vision, clever lyricism, and emotional depth.
Beginning with the shockingly-positive leadoff political anthem, ”A House Divided,” the political and the personal are immediately merged. Tinkering with the famous words of Abraham Lincoln, Madera demonstrates the need to look behind “the smokescreen” to stop the fall. Psychedelic rock standout “Screensaver” begins with the cry of a distorted sitar alluring to far away lands, only to know we will see these worlds through an electronic screen: “If I look with my own eyes, is the footage not as nice as I anticipated?” Madera dares himself to “Let it all go to black.” The album’s climax, the lush orchestration of “A Faithful Foil,” which is really a part one to part two’s “Janus-Faced,” the spare admittance of struggling toward self-love, and being unable to find it through another: “Tell me now does my hair look okay, ‘cause you always saw the good side of me.” The album closes with satisfying admonitions of our consumerist want in "New Car Smell" & "OH-126."
Treading water and trembling in his own wake, Madera’s musical warship is waiting just off-shore. Listen to Anxious Armada on all digital streaming platforms, connect with him on Instagram and Facebook, and head to his web store to grab the album on CD and vinyl. Listen for select cuts of Jay Madera on Inhailer Radio.