Open up to the madness within Rianne Downey’s charming, inviting EP. Method To My Madness has brightness and heartwarming exploration right in this first, title track. Is it all part of a ruse to wriggle its way into the brain? To live there rent-free with devious intent? No, it never feels like that. Trust in Downey’s work, the immediate and upbeat acoustic qualities which underline the intelligent lyrics which play around with broken hearts and dance hall beats. You know exactly which dance halls they are. Dancing in the Rain has a music hall appeal to it. Stomping feet on a hardwood floor in a gym-turned-disco all those years ago. Wait until it rains and slosh about in the drenched weather.
Well worth it, and if the qualities of Downey’s work across Method To My Madness are worth talking about, it means they are worth dancing to also. Such is life. Hand in hand in hand. Washing away the pain comes clear and truthful with the honest and highly-strung instrumentals which surround a confident vocal presentation. Give in to the confident and tender piano works of the title track Method To My Madness. Downey presents a real understanding of pitch and tone across these four tracks. Nothing short of incredible. Reminiscent of Paul McCartney’s natural tenderness on the piano flowing through the second track, it is great to hear Downey comfortable in a usually petrifying position. Heartfelt and honest conclusions are right at the core of her efforts, and the pay-off is clear.
Sometimes a listener needs saving from themselves. Songbird provides an apt and handy realisation for those who need it. Consistently confident showcases from Downey are a pleasure to listen to. Difficult it is to offer up a palette of what to expect in the future with an EP, Downey takes to it with a natural chemistry for shorter-length projects. Four songs to cement a person, a style. An individual is more than four tracks but Downey does one hell of a job in convincing of her charm and talent with this selection of tunes. It is hard not to fall for the weightless acoustics of Dancing In The Rain or the build of instrumentals in Songbird, the track rising and rising to a lush conclusion.
All of this is well and good and Downey knows it as much as the listener. Intense, exciting and worthy of all the extra bells and whistles which appear to be hanging from Method To My Madness. All part of the experimentation. Don’t worry about the slim bits and pieces which will be dropped or doubled down on. An EP at this early stage for Downey is a way of finding herself, as she mentions on Songbird and maintains on the echoed hooks of guitar-driven Paper Wings. There is a smooth soulfulness to it, the smoky rooms of some underground bar would benefit from Downey’s powerful voice, their tender lyrics and openness with a listener. For those who stumble onto Method To My Madness, rest assured there is a technique in place. Nothing short of talented, stunning turns from a promising artist whose discography is already full of classics.