Best Music Spotlight

Madman State – Tension

Photograph of the blog post author, Jonathan Robinson

Jonathan Robinson


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Elements from different areas of contemporary music are spread wide across this track. Influences can be recalled in every shift. Careful and sophisticated production emphasises every change in the vocal lead. Percussion mirroring and reinforcing the lead rhythm pulls the listener along with every change.


The recurring vocal sample serves as an anchor in the track. Stylistically, it lines up with radio tropes of recent years. Keeping the track both accessible and familiar with a sense of modernity. 

Chordal hits feature with the same purpose. A bell like tone with heavy filtering gives a reserved sense of depth to the mix. The same is applied to a soft kick. Coming in waves of triplets to assert a pace and develop the harmonic tension.

The track shines in its performative evolution. Sparse arrangement allows the vocal lead to be present and driving at all times. From start to finish the listener is witness to an immersive progression. The dynamic shifts that empty the instrumentation, at one point even offering up a melodic sung section, feel like a breath before a leap. 

Softer and calmer moments stack up. Again, easing in a sharp change before the whole work lifts into a faster and fuller peak. The vocal flow becomes a heartful rhythmic device as it lays into every subdivision of the section.

The percussion section perfectly reflects this with strict hi hats mimicking the rhythm. This duet is the most memorable moment in the track, contextualised by the softer melodic sections before and after for maximum effect.

Tension is a short track, but not because it lacks anything. It simply takes no more than it needs. Perfectly executed, the work makes its statement and a clean exit that serves both its narrative and composition.

  • Overall rating: 8/10
  • Pairs well with: Swimming Mac Miller

Stream ‘Tension’ on Spotify:

Follow Madman State on:

YouTube | Spotify

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