With ‘Madonna‘, Irish songwriter Niamh Regan offers up a powerful folk-tinged rumination on gender-based violence.
Regan has crafted a reputation for quietly emotive songs packed with reflective intensity, yet here she adopts a more emboldened tone in tackling thorny subject matter. Structured as a stream of consciousness, stark lyrics chart the simmering anger and defiance of a woman who has endured much.
There is catharsis though in the controlled fury of the delivery – lines whispered over a delicate musical underbelly. Moments of fragility shine through as if piercing the protective carapace Regan has constructed in self-preservation.
As the track progresses, layers of sound amass and dissipate around Regan’s central vocal in waves. Here is an artist in complete control – a consummate songwriter who can meld personal and political with assurance.