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Athens, Georgia native Madeline Adams was in her mid-teens when she started singing and writing songs in the early 2000s. Adams, who plays guitar and piano, makes music that echoes singer/songwriters ranging from Sarah McLachlan, Jenny Lewis, and Natalie Merchant to Joni Mitchell and Janis Ian. Just 15 when she started writing songs and performing them live, Adams (who uses only her first name professionally) was 17 when she put out her debut album, Kissing & Dancing, in 2002. The album had been available for a few months when it was picked up for distribution by Plan-It-X Records. Subsequently, Adams signed with the local Orange Twin label, recording her second full-length album, The Slow Bang, in 2005 and 2006. An intimate acoustic effort, The Slow Bang was produced by Mathew Houck (of Phosphorescent fame) and was recorded at his home in Athens and released by Orange Twin in early 2007. For her next album, 2009's White Flag, Adams didn't go the minimalist route -- she had a whole band backing her this time -- and the producer was Jason Robira, known in Athens circles for his contributions to the folk-rock band the Ginger Envelope and a former member of Louisiana outfit the Urbosleeks. Adams recorded her kaleidoscopic fourth album, 2011's Black Velvet, in a spontaneous fashion inspired by live shows and Neil Young's On the Beach and Tonight's the Night. ~ Alex Henderson