Maddi Jones – “The East I Left”


An alt-rocker with ’90s nostalgia, “The East I Left” is an impressive track from 19-year-old Chicago-based artist Maddi Jones. Coming from Jones’ debut EP, Beg For Me, “The East I Left” swells from patient verses into sections with deliciously lingering guitar tones and distortion. “I think of you again when I come home,” Jones sings during the first guitar-based expansion. Approaching the three-minute mark, guitar pulsations linger as Jones affirms, “all that’s left to do is move on,” — fully succeeding in its melodic pull and overall aesthetic.

Jones writes in detail on the track’s inspirations and background below:

“I wrote this song about my experience of leaving Illinois last summer to go on tour across the West coast a month after I had gotten out of a two-year relationship. It was nice to get away from home for a few weeks and play music because it took my mind off of the heart break a bit. But in the back of my mind, I was anticipating the flood of emotion that would come my way once the tour was over and I had to go back home to all the heartbreak that I left in the Midwest.

I remember sitting on the tour bus feeling like the farther we headed West, the more my mind was drawn back to all the feelings and difficult memories back at home that I had left behind. There were times on the tour when I had opportunities to open my heart to other people, and doing so might’ve helped me get over the breakup, but I chose not to pursue anyone. The bridge of the song is about how I knew I had no other choice but to move on, but still it was tempting to regress to the dangerous state of heartbreak and give into all of the sorrow, pain and self-pity that comes with it. The lyrics in the bridge of the song about fire/flames symbolize the sorrow and pain of the heartbreak. When I sing “don’t touch the flame,” I’m trying to talk myself out of thinking about the breakup and giving into those emotions.”

Also recommended from Jones is fellow EP track “Dust,” a dark rocker described as about “losing the person who once occupied all of your time and who you used to revolve your life around.” Smashing Pumpkins is cited as an inspiration, and I’m loving those Siamese Dream-esque guitar tones, preceding the scorching guitars in the conclusion.

“The East I Left” and other memorable tracks from this month can also be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of October 2020’ Spotify playlist.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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