Artist Spotlight: Mellt
Columns / June 27, 2017
New EP takes a critical look at human nature
Alyssa Laube, Associate Editor
Dreamy pop cushioned in high-quality production is at the heart of Mellt’s new Visions EP, which explores modern society’s relationship with technology and intimacy.
The record is smooth and captivating. Some tracks revolve around strong bass lines and gentle falsettos, and others are warm and layered. U2-inspired riffs, Radiohead-esque production, and other inspiration plucked from bands like Glass Animals and Foals are clear inspirations for the trio, who identify as an indie or alternative group.
The band—which is James Porter, Chris Smith, and Jamie Turner—spent a year and a half fine-tuning Visions. They recorded it themselves in Smith’s basement and got help from mixers to polish it before publication, but learned enough about producing music to create something that they feel is “way more rich, creamy and colourful” than their past releases.
“We worked really hard to make something that was good lyrics-wise and meant something, and music-wise too,” says Porter. “We also went a different way with how it sounded anyways, so it was a big difference. I feel like, with a lot of the songs … you’re looking at the role technology is playing in terms of how it divides people, but it also brings people together.”
The themes of division and unity are particularly noticeable on tracks like “Keep Us Apart,” which explores “things like climate change and stuff that we’re not paying enough attention to.”
“We could potentially do something about it but if we keep going and not paying attention to it it’s going to keep us apart,” says Smith.
The band describes the track “Oceans” as “four billion years in a song.” It comments on the theory of evolution and “if you could remember every life you lived though” from the origins of life to today.
They’re heavy concepts, considering that Mellt has such a light sound, but it’s the band’s influences that draw them towards catchy refrains and riffs.
“I really like things that take a little more digging to fully get into, but there’s so much to be said for something that’s instantly kind of hooky and just feels good,” says Smith, adding that bands like Tame Impala, Tycho, and Chet Faker left their mark on Visions.
“If you come to our live shows, it’s a bit different than that EP because it’s more focused in a way, but we like the dancey tunes, we like the chill and spacey tunes, and we like the hard tunes,” says Porter. “It’s a good mix and we like to put a little bit of all of that into our songs.”
Mellt will be writing and recording for the remainder of 2017, but are hoping to have a new release ready by the new year, and plan to solidify their sound even more over 2018.
“I think it’s going to be more upbeat, more groovy and dancey,” says Turner. With luck, their next record will be “more in the direction that [the band is] going for in terms of a complete sound.”