If you had the pleasure of catching the exceptionally talented and beautiful Melody Pool and her perfectly paired partner-in-crime, NZ’s Marlon Williams, at Geelong’s Beav’s Bar last week, then you’ll know their chemistry on stage is quite unique and rather enchanting. The coming together of two such musically in tune artists seems like kismet. Melody and Marlon possess the ability to harmonise and complement each other, while at the same time never overshadowing one another.
On a rather icy winter morning recently I sat down with the celebrated songbird to discuss everything from finding herself alone in Nashville to her thoughts on life in the 1950s and her eagerness to begin recording the follow-up to her acclaimed debut, 2013’s The Hurting Scene. “The process of recording my first album was incredible. I was only twenty-one when I hopped on a plane to Nashville and I didn’t know anyone. Once in the studio we tracked the whole album in three days, because we recorded as a live band, before adding the harmonies and string section. It was a huge step for me and a huge step towards independence.”
Flawlessly crafted tunes of heartbreak, betrayal and personal liberation give the listener an insight into the soul of a young woman finding her way in the world. Often referred to as an old soul (a title Melody embraces wholeheartedly), she stressed the fact that she’s a modern woman and wouldn’t trade places with the older generation if given the chance. “I fit that description in a lot of ways, but I’m an avid feminist and I don’t think I’d like to live in a decade like the fifties because I get pissed off at feeling oppressed in these times!”
Melody plans to continue exploring the issues surrounding feminism and womanhood through her songwriting, with a view to releasing her sophomore album as early as next year. “I’m almost finished the writing stage and I’m hoping to show progression from the first record – it’s definitely going to be darker sonically, set around the minor chords. I would love to go back to Nashville and work with the same guys, but hopefully we’ll be able to give ourselves a little more time – maybe do it over two or three weeks!” she laughed.
“On The Hurting Scene I was dealing with a lot of hurt and everything that goes along with that, so I want this next one to be about learning how to deal with that as an adult, and as a woman. Though part of it will be about not wanting to deal with it at all – being stubborn and not wanting to grow up.” She paused. “It’s an unravelling story, I suppose.”
Hear the story so far when Melody and Marlon roll back into town – you won’t be disappointed. “Sometimes you just click with people musically and that happened for Marlon and me. We’d always got along really well but when we were setting up this tour together neither of us really knew how it was going to work until we started learning each other’s songs and singing them together. Then we were like, ‘Wow, this is going to be a great tour!’
“I stopped touring for a while and I got tour-sick!” Melody joked. “I’m itching now to play my new songs – to test them. I loved playing the songs from The Hurting Scene, but it’s more nostalgic playing them. Playing the new songs will be a real adrenaline rush.”
When&Where: Ararat Hotel, Ararat – August 14; Harvester Moon, Bellarine – August 15; and The Bridge, Castlemaine – August 17
Written by Natalie Rogers