Over the past school year, the Oklahoma Christian Kicker Sound Lab has been occupied by senior Mallory Madison as she worked to complete her senior project and debut EP entitled In The Entry Way.
A music major, Madison said this project was something she wanted to do for a while, as she wrote two of the EP’s songs in 2020. The five-track record discusses themes of transitions and changes, especially with her graduation later this month.
“I’ve been thinking of ideas and wondering what the central concept could be,” Madison said. “The two songs I had previously written were all about transitional points, and I’m like, ‘I’m going through transitional points right now.’”
Madison also credited her love and experience with poetry as an inspiration for the EP and particularly its title.
“There’s an idea called liminal space,” Madison said. “It’s an in-between space like a stairway, bridge or crawlspace. I’ve loved that idea ever since I learned about it and ran with it.”
Each song on the EP is completely produced by Madison, who played every instrument on the album save for the string quartet featured on “June,” the record’s second track.
Madison is no stranger to music, as the art form has been a part of her life since a young age.
“I have always been singing, and I was always in choir,” Madison said. “Growing up in the Church of Christ, we always sang in four-part harmony. I’ve always loved the idea of harmony and how it all works together.”
However, Madison did not become serious about writing and producing until she bought her first guitar at 16.
“I had a ukulele and messed around with that and I wrote some stuff on the piano,” Madison said. “But when I got that guitar and started playing it, I got into a more creative headspace.”
When describing her musical style, Madison considers herself a part of the indie/singer-songwriter genre, inspired by artists like Dodie, Lizzy McAlpine and Jacob Collier. These inspirations are prevalent throughout In The Entry Way.
“If you’re in a coffee shop and hear acoustic music playing in the background, that’s kind of what I do,” Madison said.
In lieu of a recital typically required for music majors, Madison decided to propose a senior project, thus allowing her to record and produce her first collection of original songs.
“The music department is very classically based,” Madison said. “While that teaches you a lot of foundational stuff, I wanted to go outside of that world. I knew from the moment I got here, ‘I’m going to do a senior project.’”
Throughout the experience, Madison said she’s grown as both a producer and a vocalist.
“Recording in general really humbles you as a vocalist,” Madison said. “I can hear things in my head, but getting that sound out is the hard part.”
Madison said she hopes this EP can serve as a glimpse into the way she views the world.
“My biggest inspirations are from everyday life and experiences and finding the beauty and poetry in it along with lessons in the small things.,” Madison said. “I hope people take that, learn from it and see that beauty in their own lives.”
In the Entry Way will be released on all major streaming platforms on April 29.