The infectious groove that Madelyn Victoria’s new single (and accompanying video) “Right Here With You” brings to the table will make you want to swing like you’re in a remote country bar filled with hungry hearts and worn out cowboys looking for another shot at love, but it’s Victoria’s pristine singing that will leave you completely breathless. Sultry and sophisticated, the Texas songwriter peels away the layers of emotional insecurity that separate us from getting what we truly want out of life using a myriad of words and equally pointed tonality that are a refreshing sound in contemporary country rock. If this is Madelyn Victoria in her element then she’s only just begun to show us what she’s fully capable of.
“Right Here With You” tells us that some people will want one thing and others will want something completely different, but ultimately what all of us want is to be loved – and to be with that person who loves us unconditionally. The lyrics don’t fall back on recycled themes but rather give us the perspective of Victoria herself, who humbly describes what’s in her heart with imagistic, literate prose. Any enigma that might have existed between her and her fans is wiped out in this song, and in its place we get a glimpse into the depth of her emotions as it relates to her aesthetic.
The backing band behind her is anxious to burn off some steam from the second they fire up on the opening guitar lick. As if waiting for the answer to a life-altering question, they impatiently push up against the vocal track and try to overwhelm the lyrics with their rebellious physicality and range of motion – but to no avail. Nothing is getting away from the gorgeous shadow cast by Victoria’s trademark croon, which suffocates the edgier points in the instrumentation and allows only the richness of the melody to emerge alive and active in the master mix.
Produced with upmost care and attention to detail, “Right Here With You” is packaged in crisp, translucent EQ that is the antithesis of the abrasive experimentalism becoming quite common in alternative country acts. That said, Victoria goes out of her way to make it clear that she isn’t aligned with that sect of rising Nashville talent – her sound is fully loaded with Texas style simplicity and the sort of roaring melodies and succulent harmonies that have more in common with midcentury country/western songs than they do halfhearted modern hybrids.
2018 has been a really big year for country music on both sides of the dial, and Madelyn Victoria’s “Right Here With You” contributes a dazzling nugget of big Texas rhythm to a season full of standouts. What I like most about this single is its unpretentious stylization; even though both the video and the song are produced immaculately with the same quality as you would find in a major label release, there’s not a lot of frills and pointless pop polish for us to sift through in order to get to the guts of the emotion in the composition. She might be rising through the ranks, but Madelyn Victoria isn’t abandoning the homegrown identity that brought her this far and still promises to take her to the very top.