(22 August 2009) In a bold move Melody Klyman has followed the path taken by several other artists and is making the 192 kbps digital version of her stunning new album Bending The Knotted Oak available free of charge for a limited time to those joining up to her mailing list! Her website has been redesigned to support the release. The groundswell of support from both new and current fans is certain to draw critical acclaim and better position the artist for the physical release later this year. The album cover was created exclusively for Melody by Paulina Cassidy.
Canadian-born, UK-based Klyman trained as a classical pianist from the age of six, and wrote her first songs while at school. At eighteen she formed an indie band in her native Canada and played the club circuit. After being wooed as a solo artist two years later by a major label, she quickly tired of being treated like a product still looking for a more suitable direction she declined and began to set her sights on the UK.
In the UK she fell in love with rave and club culture and in the intervening years moved between both countries. She performed with dance artists in Canada and sung and written for a number of dance producers around the globe using an alias picking up a gold disc and numerous plaudits along the way. She released her debut solo album Sovereign (review) in 2008. We're delighted to be among the first report on her new album here.
Bending The Knotted Oak is more live, more organic and more representative of the myriad of influences Melody experienced growing up from Kate Bush, This Mortal Coil and the Cocteau Twins to Killing Joke, Nina Hagen and Siouxsie & The Banshees. She cites her true influences for the new album as Edward Gorey, Lewis Carroll and Dr. Seuss!Produced and mixed by Glen Nicholls, all songs were written and co-produced by Melody Klyman who provides keyboards and all the vocal work. Bass guitar, live drums, percussion and all programming are by Glen Nichols, guitars are by Chris Carter. Bass guitar, live drums, percussion and all programming by Glen Nicholls; guitars are by Chris Carter.
While some have made comparisons of Melody's music to both Kate Bush and Bat For Lashes, Bending The Knotted Oak is first and foremost a female fronted rock music album. Melody has however created a diverse collection of of material that varies both in sound and intensity. The album opens with "Chrysalis (being perfect)," the first of four powerful rock numbers. Layers of reverb-laced vocal work are supported perfectly by thick percussive arrangements. Pulsing electronics provide the foundation for the upbeat and rhythmic "Superhuman" showcasing Melody's lush vocal delivery. Arrangements for the album's radio-friendly standout, "Thrill Seeker," are highlighted by a stunning piano part that is supported by further instrumentation to back Melody's crystalline vocal lead and texture-adding harmonies. A ripping guitar solo concludes the track. The electric guitar and percussive pulsing of "Calico" provides a foundation for this mid tempo track.
The intensity is broken with the ballad "Julius" featuring Melody's solo vocal work over warm keyboard washes. Melody adds vocal layers to her evocative delivery in the album's second down tempo track "I Isolate." Her vocal work has the power of Alison Moyet. The album picks up the pace again with the electronically-edged and radio friendly-track "Ring Tailed Liar." The placement of the varied vocal layers in the mix and the path into and out of the song's instrumental bridge are clearly special.
Electronic textures continue to emerge in the mid-tempo, dance-themed and layers of almost-spoken word textured "Sea Of Satellites." Listen for the tremendous range in Melody's vocal excursions that grace the track. "Requiem" continues with rhythmic and pulsing electronic arrangements and thick percussion. Melody's powerful vocal soars over the electric guitar riffs that lie within the instrumental foundation. The album concludes with her evocatively delivered "Sink Then Swim." Melody's lead vocal is perfectly backed with texturing harmonies, a lovely electric guitar part and keyboard washes within the instrumental arrangement. Listen for the crisp percussion in the stunning instrumental breaks.
Bending The Knotted Oak is clearly a stunning follow-up to Melody Klyman's Sovereign album. The new project clearly draws on the sound of her debut and demonstrates growth in her sound as well as the depth of her songwriting. Melody Klyman has a bright career ahead. Grab the digital version of the album now and watch for the physical CD release of Bending The Knotted Oak later this year.