On New Madrid’s “Queen for a Day,” Our Phones Unleash Informative and Maddening Power

The track arrives ahead of their self-titled album, out April 30 via Lemonade Records.

It’s been five years since the quartet New Madrid put out their last album magnetkingmagnetqueen, but their upcoming self-titled LP is right around the corner. Its most recent single, “Queen for a Day,” is a quick dose of intricately finger-picked indie folk-rock that interrogates this overwhelming world we live in. “For me, it makes me think about the power behind looking for all the answers of the universe by just sliding around your phone screen,” explains vocalist Phil McGill.

“Queen for a Day” is built on knee-slapping percussion and subtle mandolin plucks that percolate in and out of distortion fuzz. McGill gets at the hunger technology has stirred in us for more information and the underlying fallacy that more knowledge might make us feel better. “Yes, be informed, but still feel scorned, manipulated,” he sings during the opening verse. Knowledge is power, but knowledge about power can be harrowing.

“It was the fall of 2016 and I was curious about the poetic legal term ‘Queen for a Day,’ that in short means your words cannot be used against you in a court of law primarily in the case of government investigations,” McGill continues. “It’s granted to powerful government officials who might have desirable pertinent information in a pending case. The world was spinning as it was, and the rules of the already-tilted game board were being pushed to their ends. There was an absurdity to the evil that was lurking in plain sight. Felt like I was seeing the hands of the puppeteer in the frame.”

Although the track is short, it’s packed with the heaviness of the title’s denotation. Check it below.


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