Hometowns | Madi Diaz [Mt. Nebo, PA]

Photo by Elizabeth Weinberg

Tonight, Madi Diaz will be bringing her songs to the Old Rock House ($8), playing a show with Keegan DeWitt and St. Louis buzz band Union Tree Review, and there’s plenty to get excited about. Diaz will be releasing a three-song EP titled Far From Things That We Know on September 20th, and just from one listen to its lead single, “Let’s Go,” I’m already hooked – it sort of reminds me of the best work of Sally Seltmann or Katie Herzig (and that’s saying a lot). The song was recently made into an ethereal video, directed by Matt Amato using Japanese-made Harinezumi cameras. Here, have a look/listen:

If you liked that, head on over to Diaz’s website to download a few free songs, including “Let’s Go.” Oh, and get your booty over to the Old Rock House tonight.

Diaz is our latest featured artist in our Hometowns series, and we’re lucky to have her. Here’s a little bit about the artist that you’ll soon learn even more from in the coming months/years.

How does your hometown or home state influence your music?

The space influenced (it) the most, probably. I grew up with SO much space! We lived in the middle a huge wooded area, which was surrounded by cornfields, which was surrounded by state protected woods and fields and on and on. You get the idea. Middle. Of. Nowhere. It was SO beautiful and full of millions of living things and textures and different terranes and so much to look at and listen to. Sunsets, seasons, light patterns, and landscapes. I hope that we’ve done as much as we can to respect and utilize the space in our songs and really bring it out to let it breathe and let it live.

If you had 24 hours in your hometown to spend as you pleased (no work!), what would you do? Walk us through the big stuff.

Woooooof. Entertainment in the traditional sense of restaurants or ANYTHING to do in Mt. Nebo was, and probably still is, scarce. If I had it MY way though I’d just start walking off in one direction like my brother and I used to do; walking right out the door and into the woods. Trailblazing. Then I’d walk up to the general store and buy some penny candy sour patch kids. With said sour patch in hand, I’d then drive over to this INCREDIBLE drop off that overlooks the Susquehanna river dams (there were some bald eagles nesting in up there last time I was out there — I’m telling you this place is the SPOT) and watch the sun do whatever it would happen to be doing at that particular time of day. And to finish, I’d try to drop by one of the farms in the area and put my forehead on one of the horse’s foreheads…maybe grab some cantaloupe from one of the nearby Amish farms and find a good porch.

Have you ever wished you were from someplace different than your hometown? Explain.

There was definitely a time growing up where being so far from things that were “happening” was SUPER frustrating. I think by the time I was 15 I felt I had done as much as I could in my own world and was ready to have my cage rattled. Mt. Nebo was uniquely disconnected from everything. We were 20 minutes from the grocery store! It was impossible! I started finding every and any excuse to take off for Philadelphia and spending SO much of my time there that my friends’ houses in the city became second homes to me (thanks guys!). When I was 16, my family moved to the Philladelphia suburbs in Media, PA, to be closer to the city. The move was mainly for my brother and I, which was an incredibly amazing gift from my parents as a younger person trying to find where I fit in the world and eventually in music. From there, I commuted to the city pretty much every day, or whenever I could until I left Pennsylvania altogether for Boston in 2004.

Tell us about the first time you played your hometown. How did it go?

The closest I’ve ever gotten to Mt. Nebo since 2002 is Lancaster, PA, which is close enough, I suppose — about 35 minutes or so away. It was SO fun. And SO strange. So many things have changed and gotten….cooler….or bigger….or more corporate…or had disappeared…or were on a different street than where I had put them in my brain. Walking around with my band in my current life felt like a strange displaced dream. In an awesomely, lovely nostalgic way.

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