Songs and songwriting can wield immense power. When concoctions of vocals and melodies are perfectly combined they have the ability to galvanize, to heal, and in the case of Maddi Mae’s breakout single “Here Right Now,” the power to convince someone to be with you.
Maddi Mae is a singer/songwriter and “mountain woman” from Virginia, known for her self-described bluntness. Her Americana-folk single “Here Right Now” doesn’t deviate from this description.
She wrote this track immediately following meeting a man with whom she was mutually interested only to learn that he was in a relationship at the time. “Here Right Now’s” straight shot lyrics are a beautiful plea for him to realize his true feelings.
If you’re here right now
I know it ain’t workin’ out
If you feel like I feel
Honey, I know it ain’t real
Like the guard rails on a bowling alley that guides a ball to a strike, Maddie Mae’s track guides her prospective love into a relationship with her. Yet as the song progresses, her frank observation of the state of affairs gives way to more persuasive quips. Her figurative guardrails tighten their grip on her impending love story’s narrative.
I’m not claimin’ to know
Everything goin’ on
I know I won’t wait
If this is gonna linger on
Yet perhaps more effective in reaching her goals than these subtle ultimatums are her irresistible vocals.
The second I heard Maddi Mae’s voice I was immediately transported to a placid dreamscape reminiscent of that which Australian alternative indie singer Julia Jacklin often cultivates. These two female powerhouses carry many similar vocal qualities: delectable drawn out crooning notes, a powerful breathiness, and a crushingly emotional vibrato to name a few. Yet Maddi Mae’s subtle country twang adds an extra hint of personable intimacy to this track.
Maddi Mae further delves into her Shenandoah roots with a simplistic acoustic guitar backing that really lets her vocals shine. However, a lightly reverberated piano and distorted guitars are peppered among the classic country heart of this track, driving it into more indie pop and alternative territories.
This marriage of old-school and modern elements is Maddi Mae’s trademark. Compared to her country-skewed “OK Highway” and pop-leaning track “Sorry ‘Bout Your Boyfriend,” “Here Right Now” is the perfect median point. This blended sound paints both an intimate portrait of Maddie Mae as an artist and creates a sonic experience that’s incredibly timeless—a quality that’s only aided by the always relatable feeling of falling in love that’s embedded within it.
Yet amid Maddie Mae’s succulent vocals and the infectious, simplistic artistry of “Here Right Now’s” folk tone, the most compelling aspect of this track is its sheer confidence. “Here Right Now” exemplifies a brutal honesty and proud transparency that begs for a spot alongside Jacklin on Spotify’s “Badass Women” playlist.
“Here Right Now” rests at the corner of persuasive rhetoric and equally compelling melodies— it’s an utterly powerful track. Or, as the aforementioned Spotify playlist would say, it’s a “killer jam.” Therefore, it’s unsurprising that this song’s goal of convincing a man she was the right choice was successful and that Maddie Mae has been with him ever since.
On her website, Maddie Mae wrote that, “one may know her better by listening to her songs than by meeting her.” After listening to this emotional track, that is definitely something I can attest to. If not a window into her full personality, “Here Right Now” is certainly a look into the depth to which she loves her song’s subject, and is undoubtedly indicative of the power behind her undeniable songwriting ability.