MP3 Melodine - Out of Your Hands
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14 MP3 Songs
POP: Today's Top 40, ROCK: Modern Rock
Evan Frankfort - lead vocals, guitar
Joel Martin - guitar
Mike Farrell - keyboards
Luke Adams - drums
Bill Shupp - bass
"With this band, I want to create a powerful, melodic and unique sound with lyrical relevance," says Evan Frankfort, producer, songwriter and lead vocalist for Los Angeles band Melodine.
The band will release their sophomore album Out Of Your Hands on Atenzia Records and the culmination of nearly a year of writing and recording is an album full of musical depth, sonic diversity and great songs.
Out Of Your Hands is the realization of Frankfort's creative vision. After starting his musical career in the company of LA acts Gingersol and Maypole as a full time studio and touring member, Evan also toured with The Jayhawks and The Wallflowers before turning his talents to producing and mixing for other artists at his home studio.
As Frankfort admits, his success in the studio working with bands as diverse as Sugarcult, Rancid and The Bangles convinced him to form his own band and utilize his expertise for his own benefit. He says: "Producing is a big part of who I am, but just as important to me is recording, writing and playing my own songs in a band."
That band, consisting of Luke Adams (drums), Joel Martin, (guitar), Eric Dziembowski (bass) and Mike Farrell (keyboards), was named Melodine in 1999 and their debut self-released album, Appreciation quickly caused a stir on the independent scene, gaining plaudits from Billboard Magazine and finishing in the top two of https://www.tradebit.com's Final Countdown talent contest.
Appreciation was a powerful, accomplished album packed with melody, energy and a real contemporary sound which laid the foundations for Out Of Your Hands. The album came to the attention of Atenzia Records' Magnus Sodverkist who had no hesitation in inviting the band to record a follow-up on his innovative new label, and five of the 14 songs on the new record are re-worked interpretations of songs featured on Appreciation.
Typical of the frontman's quest for perfection and quality, the new versions of the optimistic "It's Coming Around", the angry "Petered Out" and the dark "Chew Your Life", have been given a second skin.
Evan explains: "My process is to step away and see how the songs impact you from a distance. There's no reliable method, sometimes it's complicated to make simplicity! With those particular songs, I took all the original tracks and remixed them, to make them sound better. I'm constantly improving. That's a universal feeling I have."
The musical chemistry of Melodine is starkly apparent on Out Of Your Hands, and his fellow bandmates undoubtedly share Frankfort's commitment to excellence. Long-time friends Greg Richling and Rami Jaffee of The Wallflowers fame lent their considerable bass and keyboard skills to a number of tracks, as well as co-writing "Nothing New", while new bassist Bill Shupp has effortlessly filled the void left by Dziembowski. Such contributions have helped make the new record sound like the collective achievement it undeniably is.
"The guys are so talented and I trust them creatively," Frankfort says. "I wanted to make the record sound like a collaboration, so I made copies of the Pro-Tools files of the songs, gave them to Joel and he came up with some incredible sounds and parts.
"I used his talents to give life to the songs and to come up with new interpretations. This way I couldn't produce the band into a hole. They had the freedom to come up with ideas I wouldn't have."
He continues: ""Exit Wounds" is a good example of that. We had a field day recording that song. There's backward mellotron in there, we went crazy with different pedals and I think that's the spirit of making a record.
"I like the feel of the verse and the feel of the chorus and I would go as far as to say it's the best thing I've ever done. It feels like a new approach for me."
The results of such a flexible process are astonishing. The quirky, yet addictively melodic "She's Only Human" (co-written with Mike Farrell), the tongue-in-cheek social comment of "Prime Of Life Housewife", the slamming rock of "Rope" and the raucous "Heaven's Coming To California", all carry the Melodine trademark of wild originality and diversity with startling results.
"I didn't have to make the record sound like anything," Frankfort says. "Atenzia allowed me to let the process happen with no preconceived ideas and although there's a lot of responsibility which comes with that, it's great for a band."
Recorded over a ten-month period, Out Of Your Hands broadly deals with the concept of relationships, a subject perhaps best indicated by "The Le Tingo", a wonderfully executed Latin-flavoured tune about breaking up.
"Yes, "The Le Tingo" is sarcasm," Evan admits. "It's a pun on letting go, it's tongue in cheek. It's a serious pop song with a nod to the Fastball song "The Way" as well as the writing of Paul Simon and The Rembrandts. It's a fun way of treating a sad and serious issue."
Clearly, diversity is the watchword for the album, and interestingly in the case of "Slow Dive", Santana's loss turned out to be Melodine's gain.
Evan elaborates: ""Slow Dive" was written for Santana originally, after I got a call from Arista who were looking for songs for his new album.
"The song didn't make his album, but I decided I would use it and make it how I thought it would be for Melodine. I experimented with the arrangement and Cary Park played a mean slide guitar on that one. I really like how the song turned out."
Indeed, so many different vibes, influences and ideas have contributed to make the album one of the most anticipated releases on Atenzia's roster, and with competition from the likes of The Rembrandts, Mars Electric and 40 Ft Ringo, that's saying something. Frankfort cites The Pretenders, The Cars, Elvis Costello and Jellyfish as big influences but knows Melodine create a unique sound of their own.
"I can't really compare the record to anything else directly," Evan says, "But The Bends is one of my favourite records and it's certainly a model and reference point for us because of Radiohead's great lyrics and interesting sounds. That album has it all."
He adds, "If I had to sum it up, I'd say Out Of Your Hands is a pop record on the surface but with a lot more depth. I want people to hear things on the tenth listen they didn't catch on the first nine."
One thing is for sure, after hearing the results of Melodine's endeavours on Out Of Your Hands, listeners will be revisiting its intriguing yet commercially accessible songs way past the tenth listen.
-- Andrew Ellis
in partnership with CDbaby (ID 453193)
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