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Interview: Melody Pool

Melody Pool

Melody Pool’s debut album ‘The Hurting Scene’ was widely regarding as one of the best Australian albums of 2013. After spending several years writing new songs and battling personal issues, the Hunter Valley songstress is back with her sophomore album ‘Deep Dark Savage Heart’. We talked to Melody about the pressures of releasing new music, the inspiration behind her amazing lyrics, and why being inebriated in Nashville actually helps productivity.

You’re just a few weeks from releasing your new album ‘Deep Dark Savage Heart’, how are you feeling?

Umm excited and nervous and apprehensive and anxious…but overall very excited!

Were you this excited when you release your debut album ‘The Hurting Scene’?

Yeah, I think even a bit more so! I was so excited to release the previous album because it was my first, and with this one it took such a long time to make and get it to this stage. It’s kind of a big relief to be able to release it!

Do you feel stronger and prouder about this new album or the same for both your albums?

I guess the same feelings for both as they represent certain times in my life, so I’m proud of them both. But with ‘Deep Dark Savage Heart’ I guess it’s much more personal to me and the person I am, so I’m a little more fond of this one that’s about to be released.

For those who are only hearing you for the first time now, what makes this new album so personal compared to previous releases?

This album is more of a life album, this first album was basically a breakup record. This new one is a lot about my feelings of depression and mental illness, and sort of the journey that happened after the first record and how it this new situation I’m in came out of the darkness.

Listening to a few of the tracks on ‘The Hurting Scene’, it seems like you’ve gone from a very folk-country sound to more of a folk-pop hybrid with your latest release. What led to your slight change in musical direction?

I think it happened quite naturally to be honest. I’ve been using my “String Girls” as I like to call them, my violinist and cellist, for a couple of years now and I just kind of stared making music with them after the first album was released. So they’ve suddenly become a huge part of how I write songs and contributors to my sound. I don’t know though, I think I just evolved more into myself and I think I became more “Me” and more honest with my sound.

The lead single from the album Love, She Loves Me is quite an interesting song lyrically: “You f*ck me like a demon/You’re poetic when you’re high/and there’s no point believing there is hope for you and I”. What was the inspiration behind the song? 

It’s kind of about a bunch of people, like a couple of my friends were going through the same things with guys, and it’s sort of about…well the person I’m singing about in the chorus is actually talking back to me. I had this idea from the producer I worked with about how it sounds like I’m singing directly to love, as if love is a subject or a person, which I thought was really cool! I think it makes more sense when you think about it like that… 

Combined with the music video, the track makes me really dislike the male character, or love itself, is that you were trying to achieve?

(Laughs) I think I was aiming for that because at the time of writing the song I was really angry at the person I was writing about. I wanted to pinpoint all the things that hurt me and pissed me off the way he would act. Then reading it back you realise that’s how love in general acts as well, when you’ve been in that kind of love. It was sort of intentional, but only from a passionate and angry point of view!

The Australian declared ‘The Hurting Scene’ “the album of the year” in 2013. Did you feel pressure to meet, if not raise the bar, on this new album?

Oh yeah, absolutely! I was kind of freaked out by it for a long time and I definitely put a lot of pressure on myself, I was trying so hard to make sure the new record was a natural progression and surpassed the old record. I was also battling with a lot of stuff and kind of feeling like the first record was a fluke! But I ended up getting my sh*t together and now [the new album] is about to be released, which is nuts!

You recorded the new album in Nashville, do you feel such a musical city impacted the sound or the feel of ‘Deep Dark Savage Heat’?

I think it did but mainly from the players as we had a few session players…but also the sound of the studio was just amazing! But I liked recording in Nashville because it disconnected me from my day to day life and I just get to be in a place where I’m solely focused on the record, so I don’t have any distractions, well apart from Nashville itself!

Did Broadway [main street] distract you from the writing process or were you well behaved and didn’t wander from the studio?

Luckily we didn’t have a car so we couldn’t wander too far, but we did go out a few nights and did have a bit too much fun. But luckily I tried to be productive during those nights out by writing lyrics on my phone while I was a bit inebriated!

Are any of those inebriated lyrics on the new album?

(Laughs) Actually one verse is! It was funny because I woke up after one of the nights out thinking “I’m so unprofessional getting drunk before I have to record!”, and then I looked down at my notes in phone and I had written the last chorus and verse for a song we were going to record that day! So I was like “Yes! I’m SO productive! I’m almost professional!”.

Lastly, if you weren’t a professional musician, what would Melody Pool be doing?

Oh god, I never had a Plan B when I was growing up. I just hoped to be a stay-at-home girlfriend, work on a farm, and cook! I have no idea! (Laughs)

Melody Pool’s second studio album ‘Deep Dark Savage Heart’ is set for release on Friday 29th April.

Melody Pool Album Tour

Shadow Electric, Melbourne
Grand Junction Hotel, Maitland NSW
5 Sawyers, Newcastle
Paddington Uniting Church, Sydney (All Ages)
Front Gallery, Canberra
Old Museum, Brisbane
Trinity Sessions, Adelaide (All Ages)

Get Tickets HERE