Australia - Full Moon 72 - 08/22/02
Production and polish, although able to add that little extra something to an already good
piece of music, can often detract from the raw immediacy of emotion being articulated. Not so
for Australian Melissa Lesnie, whose untitled EP of early recording shows considerable promise
for its directness, spontaneity and honesty.
I know little about Melissa other than she started playing music when she was very young and
that she's into Nick Cave and Tom Waits. These two performers are influential especially in
their approach to their material: the performance is as important as the material being performed.
The four songs captured roughly here all sound like they're being played in the next room,
unselfconsciously and with no knowledge that there is anyone listening. But this isn't painful
musical voyeurism: it's like hearing the beginnings of something potentially brilliant.
I'm not a fan of female singer-songwriters such as Tori Amos and Alanis Morissette: I find
their particular brand of open-heart-surgery far too manufactured to really strike a chord in me.
Perhaps, deep down, I find it harder to relate to female musicians (yet I love Björk and PJ
Harvey). There's a touch of the Alanis about Melissa's voice, but it's not overdone - it's just
not particularly my taste.
Opener "Brute" has some lovely harpsichord; "It Was Me" sounds a little like Radiohead; the
cover of "Born Slippy" is odd, and not entirely successful. However, the instrumental "Danza del
Gaucho Matrero" is where the EP, for me, really excels. A kind of demented Spanish piano dance,
the strange chords and maniacal tempo really make my skin tingle with pleasure. Excellent stuff!
The future looks very bright for Melissa Lesnie. She's got my support here at Luna
Copyright © 2002 Tim Clarke