It’s no secret that here at Stereo Stickman we’re fans of Acousticmaddie. Her relentless creativity, unapologetic bluntness, and sincere storytelling are as inspiring as they are wholly original. Once I Was Loved, Acousticmaddie’s latest single, sees her unique style of sound art continuing to push the idea of music as creative expression.
Aside from giving listeners a profound piece of art, Acousticmaddie has made sure that all proceeds from Once I Was Loved will go to a charity to support the welfare and protection of animals. It’s a beautiful gesture that not only give us a little more insight into the mysterious artist behind the music, but also entirely informs the subject matter of this single.
Once I Was Loved is a theatrical piece written entirely from the perspective of a dog in a shelter whose owner gave it up. It’s a feat that only Acousticmaddie could pull off, and she does so with such poise and grace that it feels inherently natural.
The track is a very simple one. with only a few stringed instruments and cymbals adorning the entire song. The plucked (pizzicato) strings are reminiscent of Fidelity by Regina Spektor in terms of style and sound, but Once I Was Loved becomes much darker once the vocals enter. Acousticmaddie’s voice is a defeated one that speaks in very short phrases – the way we imagine a sad dog might speak. In a very haunting way, this feels like a nightmarish lullaby.
Once I was Loved is oddly captivating because while it’s just familiar enough to not risk alienating audiences, it’s also not afraid to say what it wants to say. It’s an emotional piece of theatrical folk music that serves a greater purpose – while tugging on the heart strings of dog lovers everywhere.