“Songwriting for me isn’t just a passion—it saved my life. After I wrote my very first song, I realized the only way for me to truly feel and process my feelings was to write songs about them. This song was no different,” Cutler says of the single, “Ocean Floor was written during a time when I felt like a walking contradiction. I was feeling the push-pull of deeply wanting to be free and untethered while also longing for the security of solid ground. I was enveloped in darkness and couldn’t make sense of the chaos of these opposing desires—until I wrote the song.”
Ever since a palm-reader said she saw a “pen and paper” in her future, singer-songwriter Madeline Cutler has been writing songs to survive. It started as a sort of therapy, and then she began sharing—first with her close friends, then through her tongue-in-cheek signature “#tuesdaytubtunes” on social media. Whether the production skews alt-pop or leans even further into the folk genre, her deep and exposed lyrics are always a constant. Madeline’s upcoming EP tackles many facets of what it means to grieve, to experience loss, and to find hope at your most deeply hopeless. In a way, the EP acts as a subtle cry for help, and the premiere single, Ocean Floor, is a first glimpse into the private yet vulnerable mind of someone who can’t do it on her own any longer. One of the more pop-leaning songs on the EP, Ocean Floor is a dreamy ode to anyone who feels like they’re just…floating.
MADELINE AND MUSIC
Madeline has been singing since she started speaking. She realized there was something there when she sang Mariah Carey’s Hero in her room one day in fifth grade and thought to herself, does this sound…good? Turns out it kind of did. Singing then became her absolute favorite thing and evolved into being her therapy. “I’d always struggled with using my voice—I was a shy kid who was afraid of taking up space. That all melted away when I sang.” The same goes for writing songs: “I’m deeply uncomfortable with earnestness and vulnerability in every area of my life except for songwriting. I could be suicidal and still respond to ‘How are you?’ with ‘I’m doing GREAT!!!!’ But in a song, I will bare the dark depths of my soul without a second thought. I don’t know what that is!” Madeline says, “But I do know that that’s why this EP is such a huge deal for me. It’s the first time I’m going to feel really, truly SEEN.”
As a kid, Madeline listened to the CDs played on repeat in her parents’ cars: Carole King, Stevie Wonder, Bonnie Raitt, Simon and Garfunkel—many of the great songwriting pioneers. Inspired by their striking lyrics and subtle climaxes, she followed the goosebumps and tears all the way to Joni Mitchell, Jewel, and Cat Stevens. As she got older, she listened to more female & nonbinary singer/songwriters, acoustic and alt poppers, and folk singers—Adele, Lana Del Rey, Dar Williams, Ani DiFranco. And recently, she’s found her inspiration in some modern brilliant lyricists and musicians/producers: Phoebe Bridgers, Solange, Adrienne Lenker, Lianne La Havas, Madison Cunningham, MUNA, Faye Webster, Maggie Rogers. Still always following the goosebumps and the tears.
Madeline was raised in the Boston area and is now an LA-based artist. She studied acting at The University of Michigan where she was also always writing, singing, and making music. Her unplugged English semester in the woods of Maine was the Mariah Carey’s Hero of her writing—was her writing actually…good? Turns out it kind of was. She was also in U of M’s premiere co-ed a cappella group and was featured on Ben Folds’ University A Cappella record. In 2014, she debuted some of her original music in a sold out run of her one-woman show off Broadway, which she performed again in 2017 in Los Angeles. She was a finalist in the Off the Strip singing competition in West Hollywood in 2018, and her singing has appeared in a feature film. Her acting background is ever-present in her performing—she's not afraid to make a fool out of herself for the sake of art.
THE INSPIRATION FOR THE EP
“My dad was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimers in Spring of 2019. This EP really is an expression of my navigation of the grief that has come along with that. ‘How could I possibly allow myself to feel joy during a time like this?’ ‘How do I survive what feels like the unsurvivable?’ Since his diagnosis, I go through seemingly every emotion every day, and the only thing that has kept me from feeling frozen in paralysis has been writing music. This EP speaks to that place—How the hell can you move forward and swim to the surface when you feel like you’re wearing lead shoes? I still don't have the answer, but with each song I write, I get closer.”