Drugdealer, the retro-minded pop-rock project of Michael Collins, is back with a new song today, the first since 2019 album Raw Honey. Collins says “Madison” marks a change in his vocal approach, a modulation upward after Annette Peacock suggested he was singing below his range. This was apparently a eureka moment for Collins, and it shows in the song. “Madison” is billed as an homage to the likes of Van Morrison and Nick Lowe, and you can hear that too; it’s a smooth, soulful glide with a ’70s-as-fuck aesthetic that I’m digging quite a bit.
“Madison” was the first song I wrote in the period after Raw Honey. I hadn’t been feeling very confident about my voice for a while, when a chance encounter with an older artist, Annette Peacock, happened. She helped change my perspective, and style. She told me I wasn’t singing in my correct range, to modulate it up. She was right and it shifted my perspective on singing.
“Madison” is the first time I felt like I was hearing what I really sounded like, after years of defaulting more towards numerous collaborators who I knew had their voices. It was pretty surreal and I’m really thankful for her advice.
Watch Average Cowgirl and Max Ziman’s “Madison” video below.