From the opening beats of Breathing Underwater, the listener encounters a bold new Marié Digby. In marked contrast to the stripped-down vibe of her debut disc, Unfold, the album's fuller sound enhances Marié's (pronounced Mar-ee-AY) emotionally rich storytelling and dramatic vocals. The album is a deeply personal snapshot of her life--full of the kind of exposed emotions that make great songs.
"Everything was born right there in the moment," says Digby.
Written, produced and recorded over a three and a half month period in a Los Angeles studio, alongside renowned producers Brian Kennedy (Jennifer Hudson, Jesse McCartney, Rihanna), Ezekiel "Zeke" Lewis for the Clutch and The Movement among others, Breathing Underwater marks Digby's evolution from "the girl with the guitar" to a fully-emerged artist. Familiar themes continue to dominate her writing--love and all the conflicted emotions that come with it. But as much as Digby matured creatively during the making of Breathing Underwater, she grew even more personally.
"When I was making the album I was falling for someone--someone real and someone in front of me--and that was really scary," she continues. "There were days when I thought, this most wonderful thing I've ever felt. And there were days when I was tormented. That intensity came through in the songs."
So Digby pleads in the moving opening track, "Daybreak," a song about "not wanting a night to end, because you don't know what daylight will bring." The first single, "Avalanche," tracks a couple on the brink of falling apart. Even amidst catchy grooves and hooks, Digby's lyrical honestly shines through.
A tougher Digby surfaces on "Feel" and "Love With A Stranger." The former is taunt to an emotionally unavailable partner, while the latter is an endorsement of no-strings-attached encounters.
"'Feel' is about when you're pouring your heart out and you're not getting any kind of message back," she says. "Give me something, at least let me know that you're alive." The darkly hypnotic "Love With A Stranger" chronicles the desire to connect with another person physically, in the absence of something deeper.
"Come to Life," is a piano-laden pop track that puts the listener smack in the middle of Digby's most intimate thoughts. "It's a message to myself to be patient," she says. "I've learned that love is one of the few things in life that you can't force."
Things lighten up on "Know You By Heart," maybe the most surprising track on the album with its huge pop sensibility and rhythmic, club-worthy hook. "I`ve always loved dance music," admits Digby. "This was my chance to unleash my inner Kylie Minogue."
But it's perhaps "Symphony" that best sums up Digby's mindset. The song is a direct message to her fans--the ones who followed her though her YouTube stardom, open mic shows and first album. "I'm saying, `this is me needing the freedom to express myself musically and I hope you'll be open to it,'" she explains. "What a boring place this world would be if we all stayed still."