Posted on February 22, 2024


Speed of Sound, the second album released by Jesse Lynn Madera following her acclaimed debut, Fortunes, in 2020, proves an artful, eclectic, fun, emotional jaunt across eleven songs. It marks her first time working with producers Dan Navarro (also his production debut) and Grammy winners Jim Scott and Ryan Hadlock.


Speed of Sound is at once deeply intimate and widely meaningful. This sophomore release takes an even deeper dive into both her storytelling chops and her ability to convey a range of emotions vocally. Her vocal stylings tend to harken back to the Lilith Fair days of searingly empowered, vulnerable female artists and singer-songwriters. Yet the West Virginia-born, Houston-raised Madera also has the effervescent country lilt of a young Dolly at times, as well as the kick*** directness of a Linda Ronstadt study, showcased in the triumphant Sweet Pretender.  Her capacity to perform with transparency and sensibility

through a vast emotional range has caused critics and peers to take note and add her to the list of ones to closely watch.

Whether you sit back to savor the more personal stories told with an almost haunting sincerity or jump to your feet with songs like the foot-stomping hoe down called No Place to Shine, Madera beckons us to come along for the entire sweet ride – vulnerable and exhilarating.

The boisterous opening track, Austin, an anthemic pedal-to-the-metal classic rock inspired tune recalling young lust, immediately signals we better buckle up for an adventure. The fast-paced start calms gracefully upon reaching the wistful and reflective second track, Last Call, a duet with co-writer Dan Navarro, sung entirely in harmony that reminds listeners of some of the best folk pop songs coming out of the 60s and 70s.

Madera creates songs with depth and thought-provoking lyrics, seamlessly blending country, folk, soul, and jazz. American Songwriter adds, “Madera’s lyrical and piano-driven songs are passionate and alluring, with a dramatic, ethereal, and almost otherworldly tone. Evoking comparisons to the shapeshifting brilliance of Kate Bush and the confessional pop sensibilities of Tori Amos.” Music Connection featured her in its 2022 Hot 100 list of the Best Unsigned Artists, and she emerged as one of twelve finalists out of more than 6,000 entries in the Americana category in the Unsigned Only 2023 competition!

Boasting a dedicated fan base cultivated through captivating live performances, Madera’s touring history includes sold out shows at New York’s Bitter End and Nashville’s The Bluebird. She also had notable appearances at festivals such as Mile 0, 30A, Annapolis Songwriters, and Mile of Music and was featured as a headliner for WMOT’s “Finally Friday.”

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