Photo: Lily Pepper

Madi Diaz makes a fearless return with the bold and confrontational “Man In Me”

Nashville-based Madi Diaz isn’t exactly a newcomer, but she’s been gone from music for over half a decade following some tough years and moves around the country. However, she’s bounced back and has some powerful new material to show for her time in the wilderness – which has earned her a deal with legendary label Anti-. The first track to be shared from the new crop is called “Man In Me”, which was produced by Andrew Sarlo (Big Thief, Bon Iver). Diaz says:

‘Man In Me’ was the first song I sat down to record for myself in about six years, which is the reason I thought it was so important to release first. It’s a very intimately visceral moment, a sort of play-by-play inner monologue, taking my first steps through a really hard time.

It starts softly with the fluttering of piano twirling around some ambling guitar, creating a warm and safe atmosphere where Diaz can fully unburden herself of all the neurotic thoughts she contains. “Do you imagine me differently? / Because when I met you swore that you saw me / When you think I might be someone else does it turn you on?” she opens with fearless precision, thrusting the bulk of her paranoia right out into the open. From there she reveals more of herself, but does so beautifully, unfurling her pristine and shining voice and drawing us closer to her soul. Even as she admits to kicking down a bathroom door and screaming at this former flame, we only feel more empathy for her emotional struggles, further enrapturing us. “Man In Me” continues to build in passion until it is a burning pyre of all her past struggles – a difficult but cleansing release of a song.

On the accompanying video, directed by Stephen Kinigopoulos, Diaz says it “emphasizes the intensity of a moment held and held and held. For me, this video is like holding a stare for so long that it hurts. It’s like knowing you should let go, but you keep holding on cause you can’t say ‘when,’ and playing with that tension lying right beneath the surface. You know something’s up, but you just can’t put your finger on it.”  

“Man In Me” is Madi Diaz’s first for Anti-, but with hopefully much more on the way make sure to follow her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.