by Conor Battles
Maddie Indré is in the midst of a big year. The Akron singer-songwriter released her debut album, “Serenity,” in February. Half a year later, she’s set to release her first music video, play a slate of shows around northeast Ohio, and begin work on her sophomore release.
But as her career climbs to new heights, Indré is mostly relieved that the hard part is over.
“I was super anxious and nervous up to the release of the album,” Indré says. “It’s a vulnerable thing, writing a song and putting it out there. It’s pretty much like releasing your diary.”
Indré’s music draws from a colorful sonic palate, layering shimmering indie rock with a keen pop sensibility. Tracks like the anthemic “Simple” to the downtempo jangle-pop of “In My Head” feel exquisitely crafted, but Indré’s honest, intensely personal songwriting is where she really shines.
“I like to try to write things people might be scared to say,” Indre says. “You shouldn’t be scared to say anything you’re feeling through your art. That’s the purpose of art — an outlet.”
Indré recalls going to pop punk shows around northeast Ohio as a teenager. While the lush production that characterizes her music is far removed from the stylings of the genre, she cites it as a pervasive influence on her earnest, heartfelt approach to songwriting.
“It’s such an honest genre,” Indré says. “[Pop punk bands] were saying things and you’d just be like, ‘wow, they said that in a song,’ and everyone is singing along and pointing their finger and it’s moving people. And that really inspired me to just be honest.”
Indré’s music video debut, for the new single “Nostalgic Candy,” premieres today. A brightly colored, fittingly sugar-fueled romp through local streets, it’s hard to picture a more appropriate visual for Indré to introduce herself to the masses with. She recalls the making of the video, shot in a single hot Saturday afternoon in August, with a smile.
“The video was so fun to shoot. It took all day long but it didn’t even feel like all day,” Indré says. “It’s really goofy, it kind of matches the tone of the song. It’s poppy and fun.”
Indré’s project continues to grow as fast as her ambitions and overcharged work ethic allow. In addition to the album and the video, Indré has been gigging steadily around northeast Ohio this year. In the past month, Indré has played a slew of shows in the area, even pulling double duty with two sets in a day in August at Sparx City Music Hop and Porchrokr in Akron.
Following the release of the “Nostalgic Candy” video, she plans on playing more shows, writing more songs, and, with the help of a handful of like-minded collaborators, fleshing out her sound by forming a more permanent backing band.
“I love the energy of a band,” Indré says. “I think it would open up a lot.”
Ultimately, even as she aims to expand her audience and hone her craft, Indré remains intimately connected with the local scene that she cut her teeth in.
“I love everybody here in Akron and northeast Ohio,” Indré says. “I’ve made so many friends just from going to open mics and going to shows. We have something here, there are a lot of musicians and a lot of art around here, and I think that’s amazing.”
Conor Battles is a journalism student at Kent State University,