PREMIERE: Madi Sipes and the Painted Blue sing the hard times away with “Lullaby”

Madi Sipes and the Painted Blue, Madi Sipes, Madi Sipes & the Painted Blue

Madi Sipes & the Painted Blue. RIFF Photo.

NorCal soul and R&B trio Madi Sipes and the Painted Blue releases its debut EP, Sex and Sadness, tomorrow. Today, the band shares another taste off the five-track record. Sipes, drummer Caleb Koehn and bassist Nick Cunningham have been hard at work, even though for much of the time, they’ve been separated. Sipes lives in San Francisco while her rhythm section lives in Sacramento. They only have a couple of opportunities to practice and rehearse each month.

Madi Sipes and the Painted Blue, Ghost & the City
7 p.m., Sunday
Cafe du Nord
Tickets: $12. 21+

Sipes, the lyricist, often writes about what is closest to her. The patient, meandering “Lullaby” came to her in the middle of the night, as she was trying to find solace in the closeness with another person.

“‘Lullaby’ is a song about escape. On the surface, it uncovers a cure for loneliness: [the] comfort one experiences in the company of a friend or lover,” Sipes said. “This company … is more of an appreciation of presence, something as simple as being asleep in the same room. Beneath this escape is more of an abstract concept. Reality can be difficult, and for me, the best way I’ve found to avoid this is going to sleep. I began writing this song around 3 a.m. on a night where I was having trouble getting to that escape, and I really could’ve used some help—whether it came in the form of company or a lullaby. And so, the song title was born.”

The song’s lyrics are constructed around that hope that it’s possible to bring the person providing comfort with you to that dream world. It’d about falling asleep with that person and having all responsibilities cease; no one can wake you up and force you to leave. Sings Sipes: “If you are worried/ Lay your troubles down/ Be still, stay if you will/ Forever.”

Sex and Sadness is set during nighttime, and each song represents a different experience.

“‘Lullaby,’ in particular, is the transition from alertness into a state of vulnerability,” Sipes said.

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