Various Artists – Melodica Compilation #1
[tags: acoustic, folk, coffeehouse music, compilation 2009]
Listen while reading:
- Owls of the Swamp (AUS) – Heart of the Mountain
- Athebustop (IT) – How Does it Feel
- Ian Hooper (US) – Come My Way
- Myrra Rós (IS) – Morse Codes
- Ivar – August (GER)
- Astrid‘s Farm (GER) – Full Metal Jacket
- Kid Decker (UK) – Too Late
- Torben Stock (GER) – When Will it Be
- My Sister Grenadine (GER) – Season Song
- Mysterious Marta (IS) – The Question
- Reaganesk (NL) – If Need Be
- Shisha PM (UK) – Ups and Downs
- Svavar Knutur (IS) – Yfir hóla og yfir hæðir
Have you heard about the Melodica Festival yet? If not, I will tell you something about it. The Melodica Festival was designed by Melbourne musician Pete Uhlenbruch in 2007 as a platform to unite musicians from the local music scene and to share and celebrate acoustic music. The festival got positive feedback and soon grew. The result of this growing process is remarkable: meanwhile the festival operates in Melbourne and Sydney (Australia), Hamburg (Germany), Reykjavik (Iceland) and Brighton (UK). This is quite a spanning network dedicated to acoustic music from around the world if you ask me – even though I think the US and Canada, as well as Sweden have to join the list of festival sites yet. If you play acoustic (folk) music, I highly recommend getting in touch with the good folks of Melodica (via their MySpace site) – maybe the next time you (and your band) will be on stage too.
Before I got in contact with Torben Stock (featured on the compilation), I didn’t know about the festival, although the (well known) Hasenschaukel in Hamburg kept featuring artists over the last years. But better late than never – and so Torben sent me a copy of the first Melodica Compilation which features 13 artists from all around the world. The CD was released back in 2009, but is quite fresh and I think it introduces a lot of new and still unknown bands to the listener. The music is mostly acoustic in nature – what a surprise – but you’ll find very different styles and I wouldn’t consider everything being folk music at all – not even all tracks are acoustic all the time. But this isn’t bad, for the idea of bringing music, musicians and listeners together in such a laudable way is really great and deserves huge respects.
Let’s get to the music and to the different styles I spoke of. On the MySpace site you find the term “coffeehouse folk” and if you focus more on coffeehouse than on folk this could be a very good impression of how the compilation sounds, because I really can imagine sipping some strong black coffee in a cozy coffeehouse while listening to this music – maybe the perfect soundtrack for lazy coffeehouse Saturday afternoons. To give you a feeling for the variety, there are contemporary folk songs with mostly acoustic guitar and vocals as played by Owls Of The Swamp or Torben Stock or Athebustop, the latter with some hints of indie folk. And indie folk is also the genre most of the songs can be described as, such as tracks from Ivar or Kid Decker. Some of them are a bit harder like Astrid’s Farm’s song Full Metal Jacket that drifts a little bit more to the folk rock side. Other bands combine pop and folk to some pop (chamber) folk mix, such as Mysterious Marta’s track The Question. And even some dream pop can be heard by listening to Myrra Rós’ mixture of folk and electronic elements.
As you see, there is a lot of different music, but still the compilation is well compiled and the creators had a good feeling for choosing and arranging the tracks. But because of the wide range of genres some tracks can fascinate more than others – not everything is quite my taste, but this is a problem every compilation has to face. The CD works well as promotion for the festival and otherwise the festival seems to be represented in a good way by the CD. For every interested and a bit open minded folk fan, this could be a nice item to add to one’s collection. Just think of it as mostly acoustic coffeehouse (folk) music. To get a copy of the compilation, write a message to the mail address mentioned on the Melodica Compilation MySpace site. I will let you know as soon as another issue of the compilation is available.