Melle, “On the Road” (Acoustic)

When beginning to listen to Melle’s latest single, “On the Road”, the Tonemamas thought impatiently, “Yes, yes…we like but we’ve heard before.” We receive thousands of singer-songwriters with acoustic folky pop-tracks and they’re always evidently beautiful, but don’t necessarily stand out. And then Melle takes us to the chorus and the Tonemamas put down their fourth cappuccino of the day and looked at each other and said: “Well, we haven’t heard that before.”

If you’re wondering what “that” was to which we were referring, it was very specifically the fourth harmony change in the chorus. Wait, don’t run away non-music folk! We promise we’re not going to launch into a full-scale highly technical analysis. Simply listen to the chorus with us, and when your eyebrows naturally raise, and your brain goes “…ooooh” well, that is the chord we are referring to. It suddenly takes what feels like pretty standard songwriting and arrangement into an entirely different world and suddenly you remove your finger where it might have been hovering on the “skip” button. You’re committed for the ride. And the surprises don’t stop there.

It’s as if Melle eases us gently into this song and then hits us with one unexpected turn after another. Following that glorious chorus, we have the introduction of a splendid cello line and a smattering of rich background vocals emphasizing certain lines.  After another emotive and soaring chorus, Melle says: “Ready for more surprises?”. We put down our fifth cappuccino of the day, and say…”Take us there, Melle.”

And to church we go with a rousing bridge that repeats an exquisite melody with a full and bright instrumental and background arrangement. It’s the kind of bridge you sway along to with your entire body and get totally swept away by the music. Then after a last stripped down chorus, the Tonemamas put down their sixth cappuccino of the day and look at each other and say, “Well if there was ever an argument for why one should never press skip after one minute…the answer is Melle.”

Best listened to while: undistracted…sit your overworked butt down on a couch and listen to a song for goodness’s sake

Listen for this moment: 3:40 the last, stripped chorus is a sublime musical expression of vulnerability

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