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MELD Celebrates Lives Well Lived With Sunny New Song, “Eye On The Road”

MELD_by Elisabeth Donaldson.jpeg
Elisabeth Donaldson
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MELD

Today’s Daily Brew song is a new release from Nashville’s MELD. “Eye On The Road” is the first release from her upcoming album, Sunrise. It’s not a huge departure from her 2020 release, Words of the Water – at least not yet! I’ve only heard this one track, but it made me to want to catch up with Melanie Dewey, aka MELD. You’ll hear the new song again this Sunday at 8am on The Local Brew Hour and again Monday at 7pm. This song continues MELD’s theme of hope for the future with a reminder to keep your “Eye on the Road”. The Daily Brew is Monday through Friday at 6:30am and 6:30pm on 89.5 WMOT Roots Radio and it’s out today.

AnaLee: We chatted in January of 2021 here in Liner Notes after the release of your debut full length, Words of the Water – which seemed like no small feat to get finished and released. A change in personnel on the album, a global pandemic and the passing of your beloved father. I hope this one was a little bit easier to get finished. What’s been happening in your life since the beginning of last year and would you tell us how Sunrise came together?
MELD: Thanks for continuing to spin some songs from that one! While “Words of the Water” was released around the time of my dad’s death - “Sunrise” is really the true tribute album to my father, my aunt, and best friend - who all died within 6 months of each other. “Sunrise” came together over the past two years, as I was reflecting on the grieving process. My dad’s death taught me a huge life lesson - and that is to truly celebrate life, and live life to the fullest. I kid you not, the last few weeks of his life were strangely magical. People flew from all over the country to say their goodbyes, and the depth of love that was poured into him in his last moments (including a birthday wish from Bob Weir and John Mayer!…) taught me that if you can truly live your life being good, and true, and caring - then there is a side to death that is celebratory, and you can be rewarded for a life well lived. There is a side of grief that is not talked about enough - and that is the side of positive reflection/celebration of a life. There WILL be a second album, “Moonrise” that talks about the darker side of grief, but for now - we celebrate! And after such a heavy few years - we all deserve to!

AnaLee: Where did you record this one? Please tell us about your crew for this record, the band and producer/engineer and how your experience making and releasing your debut informed this project.
MELD: This one was recorded in Nashville, with my band - consisting of Christian Malone on bass, Daniel Twiford on drums, and we brought in a slide guitar expert who can play slide reminiscent of Derek Trucks, Conor Kelley. We recorded at Jon Estes studio, and the horns were arranged and recorded by Jovan Quallo. We also have Josh Scalf on trombone and Steve Patrick on trumpet. Jon (the engineer) played the organ, and I played the piano! I learned a lot from the last album I did; that sometimes you have to just dive in and do it! The last record took like 3 years to create, and this one less than a year.

AnaLee: The artwork for “Eye on the Road” is a great representation of the sound you’ve created on this one. You mentioned that you’ve heard that it sort of sounds like Fleetwood Mac meets Lake Street Dive and I’d have to say, that’s pretty spot on! Tell us about this song and the art for it.
MELD: The vision I had for this artwork was lots of sunny imagery - desert inspired landscape, with me and my band in the car. It’s supposed to suggest that we’re on tour out west somewhere. I included just the consistent members, but from the left, you can see Jovan Quallo, Daniel Twiford, me, and Christian Malone in this art represented as cartoon versions of ourselves. You can also see a red tailed hawk in the left hand corner, and that’s a direct nod to my dad, since when he died, a red tailed hawk perched on the roof of our house until he passed and then flew away. Magic! I wanted the colors to feel bright and 70’s inspired - Americana/Rootsy with a hint of psychedelia which is how the album sounds too. My father’s favorite bands were acts like the Allman Brothers Band and the Grateful Dead, and I think you can hear that inspiration woven throughout the album, and see it in the visuals as well. 

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AnaLee: Can you give us an idea of what to expect from the rest of the album and if you have a release date or timeframe for Sunrise?
MELD: The rest of the album will be a similar vibe to this single, but it truly is all over the map. There are some songs that are reminiscent of Phish and The Dead, and others that feel like The Allman Brothers and Tedeschi-Trucks. There is even a modern day “Me and Bobby McGee” on this record. Then, you’ll get whiplash and hear some Lake Street Dive/Allen Stone moments. Basically we just wanted to create an album that celebrated ROOTS/Soul/American jam music. Anything that had a “sunny” sound. Think more horns, less strings. More rich and stacked harmonies, less solo vocals. The album should come out In October, but if it gets pushed back - then definitely no later than early 2023. 

AnaLee: One big difference over the last year and a half has been that you’ve been playing live shows again. Anything planned in the near future?
MELD: As of now, we’re hoping to lock in an album release party for October at a venue like the BEast or Exit/In and only have Greenway Music Fest scheduled before then (September 2-4th in Woodbury, TN.) There is a tentative opening slot for an artist at Brooklyn Bowl, but that is TBD. I’ve been wanting to start a jam called “The MELDing Pot” at the 5 Spot, and have a few tentative dates in August and September for that to happen. As of now, mostly focused on getting the recorded work out there! But you can follow along on MELD’s Instagram for more live show news! 

AnaLee: Will you be treating us to more single releases before the full album arrives? Thank you for filling us in on MELD today.
MELD: The second single “Send Me A Mountain” is due out at the end of August, and then there will be a third and possibly fourth single in September. Thanks for having me, as always! :) 

"Eye On The Road"

Ana Lee is the host and producer of "The Local Brew," a weekly radio show plus a live showcase for Nashville based artists. She hosts mid-days on 89.5 WMOT Roots Radio, Nashville, is a voice over artist and curator of musical experiences for events.
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