Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Grant Johnson at Good Danny's, Austin, Texas
It was Sunday morning.
It was the day when every temporary resident of Austin - there only for the South By Southwest days - was about to perform their mass exodus.
It was too early.
There was a breakfast of bacon and eggs, lovingly prepared by a good friend and master chef, that sat nibbled on. The coffee was tough to get down, swallowed in the tiniest of swallows. The stomach just wasn't right from the night before. It was the cheap red wine, the moonshine and probably the ill-advised shots of Jack to top it all off.
Madi Diaz and Kyle Ryan were there though, right when they were supposed to be, against all the odds. They'd been through similar nights, with Diaz heading off on a karaoke bus to the middle of the woods with some crazy hill people, singing 80s and 90s pop songs through the drunken haze of being headed somewhere unknown, but trusting that everyone was going to make it back alive. Meanwhile, Ryan watched as a man set his face on fire for a good few seconds at an after-party with Mumford & Sons, at a crappy little shack, just around the corner from the studio.
This music, miraculously came from that morning, and it shows Diaz and Ryan, once again, as incredible writers, arrangers and makers of some of the best lovelorn songs currently being made.
Below is Madi Diaz's Daytrotter Dream Interview where she both asks and answers her own three questions:
Q: When you're sitting and you close your eyes where are you sitting?
A: On a lush bed of red pine needles under a shroud of dark green pine tree blur. It's a brush cave safe haven. It's warm but not suffocatingly protective cause the light from overhead (moonlight or sunlight depending) pokes prismatic like thru all the branches.
Q: When you're standing and you close your eyes where are you standing?
A: On top of one of those central Californian mountainous hills that looks like the stretching golden backs of lions sleeping in piles around one another. Palms of my hands on the back of my head stretching up-the sun is out-sky is blue and clouds are full and white with their shadows are dappling the hillsides.
Q: Now open you eyes and where are you?
A: Standing at the end of a bar that's very very poorly lit and smells like tequila and beef jerky…somewhere in the middle of america…red film light over everything…some guy in the background beating the shit out of his guitar finishing his set finish line style and now it's my turn.