MADISON CUNNINGHAM – ” Broken Harvest “

Posted: February 8, 2021 in MUSIC
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For singer-songwriter Madison Cunningham, the year 2020 seemed to be all lined up for her, until it wasn’t. And suddenly, instead of touring, all that was left was to stay at home and try to write. I was going to open for Mandy Moore. I was going to do, like, my first headlining tour, which would have been super fun. And that would have dropped me into playing a show at Madison Square Garden, 

She explores this sense of loss and finding what’s truly important to her in her contribution to titled “Broken Harvest.” “It was interesting to figure out how to find myself in that again and to detach what it was that I was doing from success,” Cunningham says. “In retrospect, it was a really sweet thing, too — where I was getting to come back to square one, getting reacquainted with the reason that I first came into music and the reason that I fell in love with it.”

When NPR Morning Edition asked me to write a song around the theme “Dreams Deferred” for their Song Project Series, it resonated with me immediately. Not only as an artist but also as a person alive in 2020. A year that had us all cashing in our plan B’s like we could’ve never expected. To anyone with a dream, the feeling of being robbed of opportunity, growth, promise, or success, was annoyingly abrasive. And though it was collective, it was easy to think it was only happening to you.

So I wanted to touch on the idea that we’ve always had to face loss. We’ve always had to deal with death. We’ve always had to deal with failure, with all of those things. And it forced us all to look at not only the deeper illness, not just the symptoms, but just what’s most important in our lives and what we value most — and who are the people that we need to tell right here, now, that we love. So, that was where I got the line, “All things fade away.”

As fatalist as it sounds, it was a very hopeful idea to me, that we were literally born into this reality — we’re made to face this, so, we can get through it. That was my attempt at being somewhat hopeful on the heels of 2020.

Madison Cunningham spoke of dashed plans and how the imagery of “Broken Harvest” grew from revisiting a beloved old TV series. Hear the radio version at the audio link, and read on for an edited transcript.

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