LOS ANGELES, CA- You know that saying, about having more talent in your pinky finger than someone has in their whole body? I wonder if that’s what Madison McFerrin wakes up thinking every day.

She definitely doesn’t, because she’s an absolute sweetheart with a knack for the kind of stage chats that make you feel like you’re watching your friend’s cozy backyard jam. But, while we’re pretty sure Madison is the kind of doll that would come to the rescue with a tampon and wink, she’s definitely better than you.

Exhibit A: that hair. I mean, c’mon. Exhibit B: the silky sounds of her show at The Echo, kicking off her new U.S. tour.

Last Thursday, McFerrin brought her Brooklyn grooves to LA, debuting an extra layer of instrumentals to her signature, crystal clear a cappella vocals. Her new EP dropped on Dec. 4, and it offers up her first fully produced tracks. While instruments seem wholly unnecessary when you’ve witnessed McFerrin weave a delicate web of sound with looping alone, her new live show makes the case for moving onward and upward. What the performance loses in preciousness, it gains in the evident joy in Madison’s movements. Fingertips reach higher, wrists curling from keyboard to mic stand to the ceiling. She’s having more fun, and so are you.

On this Thursday, McFerrin made her way through a set of fresh songs, letting the crowd in on a few track notes. She tells us about her love of anime, then shares “Milkyway,” a song made specially for “Carole & Tuesday” (the anime series directed by Shinichirō Watanabe).

Besides this track, she reveals the EP is for the most part produced by her brother, Taylor McFerrin. Both the offspring of legendary vocalist and classical conductor Bobby McFerrin, it seems only right to keep things all in the family.

As the night goes on, Madison carries us through her new tracks, including “TRY” and “No Room,” the latter of which just had a music video release.  It’s fitting that McFerrin seems to fill up the stage, her personality glowing outward, expanding to the night’s setting. Even as she adjusts to a new pedal and laptop setup—making for some endearing bumps in the show—it’s nothing her voice can’t smooth over.
McFerrin invites us to close our eyes at one point, and imagine that someone who our heart beats faster for, that crush who makes you bite your lip to hold back a smile. We do, and she delivers more sensual, interstellar notes to float around the room, swirling around with our lust, like conjured smoke signals under hot blue stage lights. She brings us back to earth with some self-aware jokes, about needing to sell all the shirts in the building (she only has a carry on for her flight tomorrow, you guys) and throws in some finger guns and a few ubiquitous air horn noises in for good measure.

McFerrin and her whiskey glass are cheered off warmly. When we shift 10 feet off to the right to the merch table to talk anime with her (and maybe get some style tips), it’s been decided—our new best friend is 100% better than yours.

For tickets to all of the You + I tour dates: http://madisonmcferrin.com/tour

Follow Madison McFerrin on Facebook, Instagramand Twitter.

Madison McFerrin @ The Echo 11/21/19. Photo by Jessica Moog (@JessicaNMoog) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Madison McFerrin @ The Echo 11/21/19. Photo by Jessica Moog (@JessicaNMoog) for www.BlurredCulture.com.