Last time came across Melpo Mene he was trying to get hold of a rocket. Not sure whether he managed to find one, buy one that Elbow built, or whether he instead took my Jet Pack advice, but either way the single made a big impression, even sneaking into my Singles of the Year list.
Anyway he’s back, and this time his ambitions are slightly less lofty, instead teaming up with songwriter Russian Red for a gorgeous, flowing and delicately phrased track entitled ‘All Of This Is True’.
Now we wrote about Mr Mene previously without explaining the background behind the name, which relates of course to Greek mythology, where Melpomene was one of the nine Muses (goddesses of music, song and dance) specifically the Muse of Tragedy. Anyway he moved to Los Angeles from Sweden in 2013, and this is his 1st ‘indie’ album since his 2012 release ‘Behind the Trees’.
The thought process behind the name is interesting, as is the premise for this song, where he considers how our feelings have been felt in similar ways by previous generations. As he explains “While we take ourselves quite seriously, '… should I give my rose to Bob or Billy?' 'am I different from my friends?' 'why am I so scattered?' you can find comfort in the fact that you are dead centre exactly what everyone before you was, and everything is under control, maybe even too much so."
It’s very true, although I haven’t entirely worked out if I take comfort from any of that.
As for the new song ‘All Of This Is True’ (released yesterday), well it’s lovely. He’s a really fluid songwriter, expressive acoustic guitar opens, and it tumbles forward with momentum, yet instrumentally everything is perfectly balanced, and both vocals are convincing, gentle and soft on the ear. I’m really looking forward to a new album.
And check out Russian Red here.