Madison Cunningham added six cuts to 2022’s Revealer to create the 2023 Deluxe Edition – a digital-only reissue that illustrates what might have been and how the original record came to be. 

Works-in-progress versions of “Who are You Now,” “Hospital” and “Life According to Raechel” do exactly what worthy-of-release demos ought to do – they shine a light on the artist’s creative process. These inclusions prove Cunningham, now 26, a wise archivist as well as a precocious songwriter. 

The previously unreleased “Inventing  the Wheel” and “Death by Suspicion” both fit with the original album and easily could’ve found homes among the 11 songs. Only “Hospital (One Man Down),” a reimagining of one of Revealer’s standout tracks, this time with guest Remi Wolf, fails to reveal anything about Revealer and is the lone number that sounds out of place. 

As released last year, Cunningham’s second long-player contained elements of Lula Wiles, Rhythm of the Saints-era Paul Simon and, especially, the Eastern-leaning, vague psychedelia of George Harrison. With the heavy imagery of her lyrics and her expressive vocals and Cunningham turned those influences into music that’s entirely her own.  

“It comes and goes/cosmic revelation and plateaus/trying to be the next original/in a tribute band,” she sings on “In from Japan.” 

Revealer is awash in South African-styled guitars, layers of percussion and strings that range from classical to day-glo. It’s a sonic journey across the globe that works even when the music is occasionally too busy – the semi-industrial “Your Hate Could Power a Train” is the prime example – because of the strength of Cunningham’s lyrics. 

And when she sings: “Carnival skies, ballet all nice/bombs exploding in reverse/the world’s greatest song/is one no mortals ever heard,” it’s clear her citing of Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell as “key inspirations” is not just talk.