Letting her emotions and her heart guide her, Madds Buckley has come up big with My Love is Sick. The singer-songwriter’s new record is a combination of powerful folk and alternative rock. A graduate of the Berklee College of Music, Buckley shows both focus and devotion on this new album. She explores the complex struggle of loving another while also fighting yourself. You encounter people that leave you with a warped sense of yourself. It leaves you in a precarious position, not knowing what to think of yourself. You may feel unworthy or undeserving, unsure of who you should be. The struggles come within the process of finding out whether that warped sense of self is accurate or not.

This is the follow-up to Buckley’s well-regarded Sunset on Somerville album. The Nashville-based artist created characters for this new record, Dog and Bird, to prove her point. Their story plays out through the songs as an outlet for her to explore the intricacies of life. It’s always been about authenticity for Buckley. She has found through emotion and art comes a certain healing or therapy. There’s a catharsis that comes through songwriting for her, and she hopes it’s something her listeners can experience as well.

Madds Buckley joins us today for a special track-by-track rundown of My Love is Sick. She breaks down each song for us, the story behind them, and the songwriting process that led to this extraordinary new collection of songs.

1. “Love After You”

Madds Buckley: “Dog’s perspective, ‘you’ is the previous relationship (which wasn’t very good), and the ‘they’ and new love is Bird.”

2. “Paper and Ink”

“Also Dog’s perspective, she views herself as someone unworthy and unwanted, and that Bird is too good for her. But Bird does want her, and upfront says that it’s ok if she makes mistakes and ‘writes in their book,’ though neither of them really know what they’d be getting into.”

3. “You Stabbed Me in My Sleep”

“This song is a bit complicated, as it’s based on a dream I had that I then wrote a poem about. But a line that was, ‘Was I so desperate for you, for anyone, that I’d let you do anything to me?’ so my thought, in my head, is either Dog has this dream amidst the relationship, or if I want to get real sad, Bird might have the dream towards the end of the relationship. I feel character-wise the latter, but I relate to Dog more. I feel like she’s one of those characters I point at and say, ‘YOU get my trauma!’”

4. “My Love is Sick”

“‘My Love is Sick’ delves into the ugly sides of love, comparing it to an infection that slowly takes over. Its dark imagery pulls at the overbearing emotions that come from love that hurts: be it unrequited, toxic, or doomed. Almost everyone can relate to a love that has left us feeling wounded, but what happens to us when we let that hurt consume us whole?”

5. “St. Valentines”

“The drunk phone call a while post break up, though I don’t think Dog would pick up smoking. This song was written long before this album, but the build in this is Dog’s final meltdown over the relationship dying for good.”

6. “Everything Changes in Time”

“It’s a song that feels like ‘closure’ as Josh, my producer, put it. The song is not originally made with romantic intent, as it was made about two siblings in Genshin. But to make it apply here, I feel like it’s Bird’s song right before the end of the relationship, or right before the big fight in the music video. They feel Dog pulling away, not being present, and miss the intimacy that used to be there, and the sense of home Dog gave them. ‘Everything changes in time’ repeats behind them though, as if they already know it’s over. The fight in DogBird just proves that it SHOULD be over.”

Madds Buckley ‘My Love is Sick’ slbum artwork
Madds Buckley ‘My Love is Sick’ slbum artwork

7. “Wine and Wheat”

“Dog’s perspective; catholic guilt, catholic guilt, CATHOLIC GUILT.”

8. “I Lose to You”


9. “Anything, Anything, Anything”

“BIRD, selfless, I’d do ANYTHING. I’d say it’s a little bit of a Dog song too, I’ve had thoughts of it being a duet in my dream musical in my head, where Dog’s side of ‘I Wanna Be In Love Again’ is what happens in the interlude! She’s finally happy, in the relationship she’s been hoping for, but it won’t last.”

10. “DogBird”

“‘DogBird’ is the story of a failing relationship wrapped in the metaphor of a dog loving a bird, and constantly apologizing for following its instincts. A hunting breed still bound to its folk’s leash, and a bird, gentle and free. ‘DogBird’ is a queer story at its core, about loving someone while fighting your upbringing, but is truly for anyone who’s ever become their own worst fear: hurting the one you love most.”

11. “Staring at the Sun”

“So musical theater brain kicks in, and the wonderful work Sofiya did for the music video. Dog is reminiscing on her feelings when she first fell for Bird, feeling like this lesser thing (a dandelion, a weed), and the BRIDGE IS BIRD’S NOTE THAT THEY PASSED TO HER FOR THEIR FIRST DATE, since ‘I Lose to You’ is their song. Anyways, I like pain and making myself sad.”

12. “I Wanna Be in Love Again”

“Bird’s song a while after the breakup, but also Dog’s? Bird’s, I think, takes place after St. Valentine’s, it’s been years, and Bird is healed and ready again. BUT hehe, musical THEATER BRAIN, I view it like the last song in the last five years where it’s also Dog’s song right before Love After You, like it was with me.”


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