Melanie De Biasio has this aura around her. Her soft voice feels haunted when on top of the mysterious folk rock her musicians produce for her.

It was the case for her second album “No Deal” from 2013, and it’s again the case for her new record “Lilies”, her third full length effort, which combines influences from Nina Simone (Lilies) and Melody Gardot (Gold Junkies). And it’s ok to keep this formula because Melanie De Biasio masters the genre. Rare are artists that can keep that spooky mood without falling into clichés or redundancy. “Lilies” is an album of many moods that keeps a constant musical theme throughout these 9 songs.

Here are a few very interesting performances from De Biasio.

 

On Let Me Love You, the musical build-up is brought very gradually. To the point that we kind of wonder if the song has started at all. Softly, electric bass and muffled percussions come in. A piano chord follows. Only after a little while after the mood is set that we hear De Biasio’s voice.

On Sitting on the Stairwell, it’s the opposite: she sings a cappella, with distorted effect in her voice (which is somehow part of her trademark) and only fingers snaps. This is an old 1940s delta blues feeling that is being resurrected. Belgian-born and classical trained singer Melanie De Biasio can really connect with Black soul.

melanie de biasio 2017

(photo: JDUBOIS, 2017)

“Lilies” is a very solid album. The listener must obviously be in a mood to have this haunted music all around him or her, but when the time is right, when the lights are low, when the night is thick and hazy, it’s time for Melanie De Biasio’s music to emerge from the mist.

Born in 1978 in Charleroi, in Belgium, the young Melanie has started ballet lesson at 3 and studying music at a very young age. First the flute, at 8, then joined the Ensemble de l’Harmonie de Charleroi four years later, touring in Canada for a month. As a teenager, she was into grunge and participated in a rock bands, before starting three years of singing studies at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, where she was awarded a first prize with a distinction degree.

On her Bandcamp page, the singer and composer described her creative process this way: “After my experiences with (previous releases) ‘No Deal’ and ‘Blackened Cities’, I just wanted to retreat to a cave with my Pro-Tools, my computer, and my cheap, 100Euro Shure SM-58 microphone. I could have gone to a big studio, made a big production – but I wanted none of that. I wanted to go back to the seed of creativity, the simplest materials. I was in this room where there was no light, no night or day at all, no heat. Very uncomfortable. But I felt free.”

melanie de biasio

MELANIE DE BIASIO
Lilies
(PIAS, 2017)

-Genre: haunted folk jazz
-Recommended if you like David Lynch soundtracks, Nina Simone, Roberta Flack, Betty Bonifassi

Buy the album on the artist’s BandCamp page
Follow the artist via her Facebook page
Listen to videos on the artist’s YouTube channel

 

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About The Author

Nicolas Pelletier

Mélomane invétéré plongeant dans tous les genres et époques, Nicolas Pelletier a publié 6 000 critiques de disques et concerts depuis 1991, dont 1100 chez emoragei magazine et 600 sur enMusique.ca, dont il a également été le rédacteur en chef de 2009 à 2014. Il publie "Les perles rares et grands crus de la musique" en 2013, lance le site RREVERB en 2014, et devient stratège numérique des radios de Bell Média en 2015, participant au lancement de la marque iHeartRadio au Canada en 2016. Il dirige maintenant la stratégie numérique d'ICI Musique, la radio musicale de Radio-Canada.