It’s been two years since my last GiGhive Buzz chat with Melanie Edwards, who had then just finished recording her eighth album, ‘The Circle’, in Barcelona, Spain. A lot can happen in two years, and in Melanie’s case, a lot did. After a broken engagement ended her six-year relationship, Edwards used the experience to write her ninth album, which she named Lorelei after her engagement ring.
In Germanic mythology, Lorelei is a feminine water spirit who lures sailors with her singing. According to the folklore, Lorelei was betrayed by her love and accused of bewitching men. Narrowly escaping a death sentence, she was sent to the nunnery by the bishop. On her way there, she climbed a rock to get a last peak at the Rhine, and, believing she’d seen her love in the river, fell to her death. Legend has it that her spirit still sits on that rock, beckoning sailors with the sound of her voice, causing them to steer their ships into the cliffs.
No, Melanie Edwards didn’t throw herself into a river when her engagement ended, nor did she vow to spend her days perched on a rock, luring men to their doom; she did, however, write a record in 12 days, which in itself is no small feat in normal times, let alone after such an experience.
“My last eight records are extremely esoteric and lyrically vague, but not this one,” she says about Lorelei.
“I used the period following the end of my engagement to channel the hurt, rawness and confusion of that disconnect into sonic prose because I didn’t want to externalize the journey. Instead, I wanted to honor the experience.
“Six years of my life and a huge chapter just ended so I wanted to put it in an audible time capsule. I’ve had breakups before and went through my parents’ divorce, but nothing of this magnitude. The usual go-to for me was to throw myself into vice, distraction and anything but actually dealing with emotional pain. I knew as the healing process began that I wanted to utilize those primal feelings of loss, separation, solitude and chaos into song work because I knew I would write from a place of truth.”
About her day-to-day during the writing period, Edwards points out there’s no such thing as routine when you’re dealing with loss. “Sleeping and eating aren’t high on the totem pole when you’re mourning,” she says. “I meditated a lot, though. Anytime I’d feel overwhelmed by emotion, to the point I couldn’t write or compose, I’d hit the floor with my yoga mat and observe my thoughts and feelings. I would feel every bit of it. Then, I’d get up, go back to the piano and start again, until those emotional waves came back; then again, I’d hit the floor, meditate, and back to piano.”
Despite the record still being in production, the efforts seem to be paying off already, as reactions to the songs in sneak-peak shows have been overwhelmingly positive so far. “Every time I play Lorelei, the audience reacts the same way,” she says. “A lot look off in the distance, remembering and recollecting—many even cry. And I can tell they’re thinking of someone or something they’ve lost.”
Though Edwards says it’s still too early to give an official release date, a first single should be out in time for spring. “I write it in 12 days to then produce it in 12 years,” she jokes. “Just like my debut record Between the Binary, the EP took around three months to write and nearly an entire year to produce.”
Tour plans are also in the works and should be unveiled in the coming months. “There are some ideas to do some house shows,” she says. “I’ve been approached by several underground art forums to do record release performances, but until those are finalized, I’m staying focused on the journey, not the destination, as I’m confident the tour will sort itself.
“After 21 years of performing, I’m still very stubborn about remaining niche and indie and trying to stay away from mainstream, formulaic pop routes. Mostly, I want to make sure Lorelei gets the respect and sound production she deserves.”
Check out Melanie Edwards’s main page www.melanieedwardslabs.com for ways to purchase her music and info on upcoming releases.