We’ll forever be in love with Madison Beer’s debut album, Life Support. It was the most incredible record and era, establishing what makes Madison such a special artist while pushing the boundaries of what we expected from her. Seriously, might have been our favorite album of all time. But now, it’ll have to settle for second-favorite, because we officially have Silence Between Songs in our lives!
Every moment of this album had us absolutely speechless, from the thoughtful lyrics and narratives to the gorgeous vocals and production. Madison co-wrote and co-produced every single track, which makes it even more special! Silence Between Songs draws us right into a wonderland of self-discovery, reflection, and growth that we never want to step out of.
I’ve learned so much about myself and my artistry on the journey of the last two years since my last record. This album tells the story of so many different pieces of me that I discovered in the moments of pause where I settled down from the noise and learned the most about myself.
To celebrate Silence Between Songs and Madison’s evolution as an artist and a person, we wanted to dive into some of the major themes of the album and what makes them so special! Madison does an awe-inspiring job of creating a world within this project, and you’ll be captivated every step of the way.
Love, Self-Love, & Learning Not To Blame Yourself
One of the biggest themes in Silence Between Songs is love – not just romantic, but familial and self-love as well. As the album progresses, Madison lets us into different moments of her life and relationships that have shaped her views on the world and her identity, while also processing those situations more and finding more compassion for her younger self. When the project opens with ‘Spinnin,’ Madison is feeling pretty lost, questioning whether the earth is even spinning anymore and noticing how things feel like they’re in limbo.
It’s the perfect bridge from the heavier moments of anxiety and depression on Life Support, but as the tracklist unfolds, the tone shifts. The key lyric, “did the world stop spinning, or did I?,” even feels like a callback to the line “the world is mad and they say I’m the crazy one” from ‘Stay Numb And Carry On.’ We’re immediately introduced to a less-than-hopeful headspace that Madison finds herself in, and from the very first track, you’re already rooting for her to find the sunshine and positive headspace she deserves to be in.
In the midst of those low moments, Madison falls into an all-consuming love on ‘Sweet Relief,’ popping in to lift her up right when she needs it. “I’m seeing you everywhere I go, I don’t dream of anyone else,” she admits. “All I need, sweet relief.” As layers of ethereal backing vocals kick in, the production really captures that feeling of euphoria and excitement that the relationship offers. But even with that adrenaline, ‘Envy The Leaves’ explores how Madison still doesn’t feel truly happy or hopeful for the future. She proposes, “why don’t we lie and act like the best is yet to come?” To get that hope back into her life, she has to go back and examine what took it away.
Our first stop on Silence Between Songs’ little trip down memory lane is to the beginning of Madison’s career with ‘17,’ a reflection on how being in the spotlight took away so much of her youth. Throughout her memoir, The Half Of It, Mads mentions how much pressure she felt and how she wasn’t fully able to express herself in Hollywood, all while missing out on important milestones with her friends back home. And after parting ways with the label and manager who helped her start off, 16-year-old Madison had a lot to think about in regards to her career and life in general.
In a lot of ways, ‘17’ feels like a letter to Madison’s past self, acknowledging the difficulties she went through while also extending some unconditional love with a new, more mature perspective. “My life moved faster than the speed of sound,” she explains, before insisting, “I would never blame her, ‘cause all she did was all she knew.” It’s a beautiful step towards a brighter future, forgiving her past self and comforting her all at once.
The next stop is to Madison’s childhood and early teens, especially focusing on her younger brother, with ‘Ryder.’ Madison explains in The Half Of It that she’s held “a lot of guilt” for how her career has affected him, including when he moved with her to Los Angeles, leaving behind his school and friends, as well as how he’s slightly in the spotlight by association now. ‘Ryder’ is a gorgeous recollection of the challenges they’ve faced over the years and how their connection has never wavered in spite of what life has thrown at them and their family.
“I always left you out, you still love me somehow. You just wanted a friend, didn’t know it then but now I do,” Madison sings, extending a hug in musical form, as well as a new understanding of Ryder. She shared in the thank you section of The Half Of It that being Ryder’s older sister has been “life’s greatest gift,” and her admiration for him is so beautifully clear throughout the song.
We arrive at romantic love with ‘Nothing Matters But You,’ which is already one of our all-time favorite songs Madison has given us! Between the vocals and the production, it’s simply hypnotic, and the relationship within the song sounds just as mesmerizing. “Hold me while I cry,” she beckons to her partner, suggesting emotional safety and just the right amount of vulnerability to help her grow. The relationship seems to provide a safe haven for her as she ventures back into her past and into the darker areas of her mind, reminding her of how much she’s grown and that she has supportive people surrounding her. We do have another possible interpretation of this song, but we’ll get to that in the next theme section!
‘I Wonder’ really marks a turning point in Madison’s healing journey – remember how the world stopped spinning earlier? This adorable bop is all about Mads looking around and seeing things in a whole new light, noting how she woke up happy (after saying she couldn’t be happy on ‘Envy The Leaves’) and decides to let her walls down to open herself up to joy again. It also marks a turn in her view of herself – later on, we learn about how different relationships made her feel unlovable or unable to exist as her own person in a healthy connection, but here she sings, “I used to live to die by somebody else’s side, but now a new daybreak and I feel fine.” She’s more balanced than ever and is finding love within herself that she used to turn to someone else for. You go, Madison!
Now, let’s head back to the past a bit! We think ‘At Your Worst’ is a sister song to Life Support’s ‘Selfish’ – both tracks see Madison stepping back from a harmful relationship (maybe even the same one) and starting to see her worth in spite of what this person made her feel. “I know you got your reasons, you got your demons, but I hope I never hate myself the way you know you hate yourself,” she admits. She stands strong and calls her ex out for hurting the people who tried to be there for him more than anyone else, and even as she says she misses him, she refuses to let herself return to that situation ever again.
Later in the song, Madison shifts the lyrics to talk about herself, highlighting how this relationship affected her headspace and views of herself. “Sometimes I still hate myself the way you made me hate myself,” she sings in a softer tone. She also explores self-sabotage as she confesses, “it hurts to know I hurt the only ones who love me at my worst.”
The next few songs seem to reflect on different moments of the same relationship, starting with the hypnotic ‘Showed Me (How I Fell In Love With You),’ which sees Madison describing someone who commands any room they walk into. But it also seems to describe how Madison lost herself in a way – she muses, “how I wanna be like you,” and insists, “all the games you play, now I play all of them, too.” Meanwhile, earlier in ‘17,’ she sang, “everybody says it’ll be okay like life is just a game, but I don’t want to play.”
‘Home To Another One’ has captivated us ever since Madison released it, and it’s a must-listen for anyone who’s ever been cheated on, tossed aside for someone else, or just had to watch someone they love start building a life with someone else. She nonchalantly recounts, “say you hate me, it’s okay, boy, you’re not the only one” – she got so used to the back-and-forth and lies that she didn’t see how worthy of love she is, which we also saw a glimpse of in ‘At Your Worst.’
‘Dangerous’ sees Madison officially saying goodbye to that relationship, mourning the hopes she once held for their future. She urgently questions, “where did it go? Is it something I said? Why am I alone in this bed? Tell me the truth, what did I do? Look at me, why can’t I see?” Eventually, she resigns to the idea that she’s to blame and makes “love too dangerous,” while coming to the conclusion that it must’ve been easy for her ex to let her go. The last section of the song consists of Madison singing the chorus in a lower tone before it erupts into a beautiful flurry of strings and piano.
And on ‘Reckless,’ Madison officially says goodbye to blaming herself for the things that went wrong. She turns the questions back on her ex – “how could you be so reckless with my heart? How could you be so reckless with someone’s heart?” She understands that not everything is going to be her fault, and she doesn’t have to beat herself up or take on unnecessary guilt. She’s healing and seeing the situation more objectively. You could even see the final lyric – “this is a story I hate, but I told it to cope with the pain, I’m so sorry if you can relate” – as the main thesis statement of the album as Madison closes the door on that painful chapter and moves forward, helping fans in the process.
Connecting With Nature
Madison has spoken up about how growing up on social media and sharing her life online has affected her in interviews and in her memoir, The Half Of It, so the contrasting nature theme of Silence Between Songs especially jumps out to us. It starts off with the first song on the album, ‘Spinnin’,’ which explores a feeling of hopelessness as Madison observes the dark world around her. “Did the sun stop rising?” she asks. “‘Cause the sky’s so gray… the birds stopped singing.”
‘Envy The Leaves’ is such a beautiful exploration of the nature motif, with Madison admitting she wishes she could be just a naïve, hopeful part of the world, like how spring leaves don’t know they’ll die in the fall and snow doesn’t realize it will inevitably melt once the sun hits it. “If only I were naïve enough to believe that I am happy, but I’m still not sold,” she resigns. Meanwhile, ‘17’ sees Madison looking back at her life and how she didn’t get to “stop and smell the flowers” because of how fast-paced her career was from such a young age, something she also talks about in The Half Of It.
On ‘Nothing Matters But You,’ we learn about an all-consuming relationship full of passion and devotion, with Madison insisting, “you belong to me tonight, hold me while I cry, swimming underneath moonlight, taken by the tide.” This relationship is a tide of sorts that takes her away from the hopelessness she was feeling in the previous songs, letting her get away from her thoughts and sweeping her right up. And interestingly, you can see it in two different ways – two interpretations we think of are one where this relationship empowers Madison to heal more and face past pain she wants to let go of and one where this relationship is the same (completed) one explored in sadder songs like ‘Reckless’ later on.
The stunning ‘I Wonder’ sees Madison coming back to herself and to the natural world as it seems to start ‘Spinnin’’ again. “I wonder why all of the clouds clear from the sky,” she muses, directly contrasting the earlier lyrics about the sun not rising and the sky being a dismal gray. One standout lyric we wanna point out is “I used to live to die by somebody else’s side, but now a new day breaks and I feel fine” – depending on how you interpret the relationship in ‘Nothing Matters But You,’ you could see it as either Madison picking herself back up and finding her own footing after a breakup, or a new, healthier relationship she’s in empowering her to be more independent and find new hope in the world.
The tide imagery from ‘Nothing Matters But You’ returns on ‘Dangerous,’ a reflection on a past relationship that speaks directly to an ex. Madison remarks, “right when I think I hate you, something pulls me under like the tide.” Again, we interpreted ‘NMBY’ in two different ways, so you could see this as either a connection or a contrast! In the case of a connection, the tide and water in general would represent the danger of an unhealthy relationship. In the case of a contrast, the romantic vs. scarier tone of the tide references on both songs would show how different the two relationships are.
With ‘Reckless,’ Madison looks back at her time with an unfaithful partner and recounts how they “swore on every star” that they wouldn’t hurt her. Ultimately, though, they left her for another girl and broke those promises. There’s also a return to the water imagery in the ‘Reckless’ music video, which has some shots filmed in Madison’s pool representing how lost you can feel after heartbreak. But there’s a bit of hope at the end as she makes her way above water and takes a deep breath in…
Silence Between Songs ends with a bit of veiled hope as well in the form of ‘King Of Everything,’ a metaphorical callout for someone who thinks he’s above others that also integrates the nature theme. Madison references the natural world with a sense of justice as she explores the idea of karma, knowing this ‘King Of Everything’ will get what he deserves one day – he builds “castles in the sand that crumble in [his] hand” and she looks forward to “when the rain comes pouring down to wash away [his] crown.” The natural world will return things back to balance, giving us a full-circle moment bridging with ‘Spinnin’.’
The Idea Of Home
The final theme we’ll be taking a look at today is the idea of home, and how a lot of the situations Madison mentions “home” in aren’t necessarily a true, comforting home. This concept first appears in ‘Ryder,’ which describes Madison and Ryder’s upbringing and how the beginning of her career dismantled their home in a way. She remembers “cracks in the windows,” which wouldn’t always be safe for a young child to be near, and “castles in pillows,” which shows how they tried to make believe and create magic inside of their house. It seems to be referencing their home in Long Island from before they moved to L.A. for Madison to pursue her dreams, so it wasn’t their forever home.
The next song where home comes up is ‘Home To Another One,’ and even just the title should tell you how unstable the “home” energy is. Paired with ‘Reckless,’ you could interpret it as someone spending time with Madison only to return home to another girl, or you could take it as Madison watching an ex build a home and new life with someone else. Either way, she never got to create a home with the person she wanted to have her own “forever” with.
On ‘Dangerous,’ Madison says her goodbyes to the hope she had for a relationship while mourning what could have been. She recalls, “even picked a house and chose our kids’ names, you’d always be mine.” And on ‘Reckless,’ she remembers how a lover “said there was nobody else, then [they] got up and went to [another girl’s] house.” In both cases, her ex didn’t regard the “house” they were building together, leaving Madison on her own to pick up the pieces.
Finally, ‘King Of Everything’ addresses someone who doesn’t respect those around him, observing how he’s “building a home made up of gold, of people [he] hurt,” while he falls asleep in a “stone cold bed that [he] made” in the process. Yet another home that doesn’t feel like home, but here, there’s a sense of justice to it. Meanwhile, Madison is in a much better place and creating security for herself, on her own terms.
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