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Madisyn Gifford Opens Up About Living with Borderline Personality Disorder

By Charlie Maybee

“Dancing On This Line” sees adult contemporary musician Madisyn Gifford open up about her Borderline Personality Disorder. With the release of the single’s new music video, she gives us a fragmented view of her experience.

Through a black and white filter, the video acts like a collage of various cityscapes: traffic circles, bridges, tall buildings, etc. However, they rarely ever appear in linear fashion opting instead for dense layers where we see multiple sites at once. Each shot has a fair amount of movement, so trying to look in 3-4 directions at once becomes disorienting even if all the different locations are somewhat familiar.

“Dancing On This Line is one of the most vulnerable and honest songs I have ever written” Gifford writes, “and it’s honestly quite scary for me to share but I also think it’s important for me to. It’s about what life can be like a lot of the time for me living with Borderline Personality Disorder.”

Musically, there’s a softness that oozes through the entire track. While the visuals move quickly, the music takes a more wandering, leisurely approach as Gifford treats us to a myriad of seemingly paradoxical statements. The lyrics may feel, at first, like they aren’t coherent, but there’s a frustrated resilience seeps through the words as if the text matters less than the emotive energy with which it is delivered.

“Throughout the song I explore issues with my own identity as well as controlling my moods, dealing with food issues, turbulent relationships, and feeling unequipped to handle it all” She reflects,  “These are some of the things that people with BPD grapple with often and although putting all of these vulnerabilities out there for anyone to hear is more than slightly terrifying for me, if it can help even just one person who is going through similar things to feel seen and validated it is more than worth it.”

With a timely arrival for BPD Awareness Month, “Dancing On The Line” is available on major streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube. The accompanying music video is also available on YouTube. Find this and more great music on the Alchemical Records Multigenre Mixture playlist on Spotify and YouTube.

Charlie Maybee

Charlie Maybee is a dancer, musician, educator, and writer based in Charleston, South Carolina who currently teaches with the Dance Program at the College of Charleston. His primary work as an artist is with his performing collective, Polymath Performance Project, through which he makes interdisciplinary performance art that centers tap dance as the primary medium of expression and research. He also currently plays rhythm guitar for the Charleston-based punk band, Anergy, and releases music as a solo artist under the name Nox Eterna.

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