Madi Diaz and PHILTHY MAG, A History (10/27 and 10/28 at The Met w/ My Morning Jacket)

There are still tickets remaining for My Morning Jacket’s shows this Friday (10/27) and Saturday (10/28) at The Met, the band’s most intimate area appearances since they played the...

There are still tickets remaining for My Morning Jacket’s shows this Friday (10/27) and Saturday (10/28) at The Met, the band’s most intimate area appearances since they played the Tower Theatre in 2015.  And while it is a rare opportunity to see the psychedelic Southern rockers indoors (in an opera house, no less), we’re far more excited about folk singer/songwriter Madi Diaz (originally hailing from Lancaster County), who will be opening each show.  The Nashville-based artist has been touring her fifth studio album (and ANTI-Records debut), History of a Feeling, since it dropped in 2021, which has included a date opening The Fillmore for Caamp, two nights supporting Waxahatchee at Union Transfer, and a headlining show at Johnny Brenda’s one year ago tonight.  Since then, Diaz found herself opening for Harry Styles, before being asked to join his band for a stadium tour of Europe earlier this year.

Earlier this month, Madi Diaz announced the release of her upcoming full-length, Weird Faith, which is set to drop February 9th on ANTI-.  “This record is about the beginning of love, and saying every feeling out loud, when I feel it, for better or worse because I can’t help it,” says Diaz of the LP, which explores all of the awkward, if not potentially disastrous, aspects of falling in love.  Along with the album’s announcement, Diaz dropped lead single, “Same Risk,” an existential ten-ton truck, which opens with, “What the fuck do you want?  Cause I’ll give you all that I’ve got // I’ll let you clean out my closet and I’ll let you try on all my dirty thoughts,” and whose chorus asks, “Do you think this could ruin your life? // Cause I can see it ruining mine.”  The album also features “Don’t Do Me Good,” a duet that pairs Diaz with Kacey Musgraves.  And although Madi hasn’t had a free moment to chat with me about all of this, we have chatted a number of times for PHILTHY over the course of more than a decade.  Have a look back at these four chats Madi and I have had throughout the years…

In January of 2012, prior to the release of Plastic Moon, the album that first made me fall for Madi Diaz, and her first-ever show at Johnny Brenda’s, I chatted with Madi about her work with Plastic Moon producer John Alagía (best known for his work with Dave Matthews), her time at Berklee College of Music, and her memories of the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection during her teen years, which include playing in Paul Green’s School of Rock, late-night hangouts at Silk City, and seeing Le Tigre at the Troc in 2004 (An early show in my Philadelphia tenure, coming during my very first semester at UArts.)

I next caught up with Madi in spring of 2015, while she was touring 2014’s Phantom; an electronics-heavy (Yeah, I didn’t see that coming either…) album inspired by Garbage and Nine Inch Nails, with a little Madonna and Janet Jackson thrown in for good measure; which also scored her opportunities to play alongside acts like Echosmith, X Ambassadors, and Fitz and the Tantrums.  This was the first time I spoke with Diaz since she relocated to LA, where she started Riothorse Royale with Emily Greene, and also began songwriting for other people (She actually co-wrote “Resentment” for Kesha.)

After more than half a decade, relocating back to Nashville, getting a job at a bar, and signing to ANTI-, I chatted with Madi in 2021, just prior to the release of her critically acclaimed History of a Feeling, which was actually her first LP since 2014’s Phantom.  She tells me about the insanity of being on the same label as Tom Waits (who she tells me, “epitomizes art”), her therapist’s take on her new music, and the family drama for which she was actually excited to ensue when the folks and relatives all found themselves at The Fillmore for her show supporting Caamp.

I last spoke with Madi in March of last year, between jaunts supporting Waxahatchee, who appeared on Madi’s recently released Same History, New Feelings EP (alongside Natalie Hemby, Courtney Marie Andrews, and Angel Olsen), which boasts reimaginings of four HOAF tracks.  During our chat, we discuss the whirlwind of success and recognition inspired by HOAF, including her friendships with all of these amazing female artists, some of the biggest shows of her career, and one particularly mind-blowing and validating social media post, which actually brings her and I’s history of conversations full circle: “Fucking Kathleen Hanna Tweeted about my record and I literally shat my pants!  I’m literally thinking of getting that Tweet printed on a fucking shirt!”

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During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.