Madison Rose, 'Sunshine': Song You Need to Know - Rolling Stone
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Song You Need to Know: Madison Rose, ‘Sunshine’

In a time without dance clubs, one boisterous underdog drops a pop banger for the roller-rink rave in your mind

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Madison Rose’s “Sunshine” is the sonic embodiment of strutting down a drag-show runway. It’s loud, unabashed, and bursting with optimism.

Aptly, the Los Angeles-based singer did her first-ever drag performance to celebrate its release at a beloved local dive, the Offbeat Bar, earlier this month.

In “Sunshine,” bright pop rushes forward with force, nodding to Daft Punk’s “One More Time” and only settling a bit to prep the kind of dance music drop that DJs use to wake up a club’s fading, after-midnight crowd. It’s a track of lush vocals and almost-camp production that could rattle the masses into a two-minute-and-29-second state of uproarious joy — despite the year and a half of pandemic fatigue.

With “Sunshine,” Rose leans fully into presenting herself as a stadium-ready pop star even though she’s still at the club level. The natural-born performer could be in front of two people or 20,000, and she’d still put on the same show, dressed in some extravagant, custom costume while zealously running through choreography and beaming with personality.

On TikTok, where Rose boasts the bulk of her followers, she recently revealed a personal story involving a record label executive who allegedly told her to expect a “complete shit show” if she tried to put “Sunshine” out by herself. “They tried to gaslight me and convince me that I couldn’t do this on my own,” she wrote. “They wanted to own my music and lock me in an insane contract. I really want to prove them wrong.”

She sings about pushing past obstacles like this in the song’s second verse — even when there’s no clear light to run towards yet. “And maybe all the bricks were falling down to pave my way to a brighter day/And lately, I’ve been stuck inside/Wanna feel the sunshine one last time.”

Find a playlist of all of our recent Songs You Need to Know selections on Spotify.

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