Madison McFerrin
I Hope You Can Forgive Me



Music is in the DNA for Madison McFerrin. Her father Bobby is an acclaimed jazz and folk singer, who had a huge hit with ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’, and her brother Taylor is also in the industry. The former features on her debut album, which follows a series of well-received EPs. 

Starting her career a capella, she created a distinctive style of meticulously layered and self-harmonised vocals. These ten tracks, on which she’s also producer and arranger, remain centred by what Questlove dubbed ‘soul-appella’. ‘God Herself’, on which she’s accompanied by finger-clicks, takes in doo-wop, while ‘Goodnight’ collages silky vocals to mimic droning synths.

The album also expands on 2019’s You + I EP, on which she started to incorporate instrumentation. This creates the neo-soul of ‘Testify’ and ‘OMW’, on which her voice reaches an insouciant mid-range, alongside the chilled ’90s pop-soul of ‘Fleeting Melodies’. There are also touches of jazz, especially on ‘(Please Don’t) Leave Me Now’ and ‘Stay Away (From Me)’, which could easily fit into a Lauryn Hill set.

The fuzzy warmth of the album’s production gives it a retro vibe but the compositions, despite their nods to the past, are firmly rooted in the present.

Free Protomartyr flexi disc with this month's magazine

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This month’s disc is from Detroit punk band Protomartyr