SXSW 2014 Interview: The Melodic

By on Wednesday, 26th March 2014 at 1:00 pm

The weather on the Thursday afternoon of SXSW 2014 couldn’t have been more perfect for the first in a series of Music For Listeners showcases held at El Sapo Cantina, a Tex-Mex burger joint with outdoor seating, just north of downtown Austin. Music For Listeners is a radio show broadcast on San Antonio radio station KRTU and hosted by Michael Thomas and Orlando Torres. Their Thursday lineup included two acts featured here at TGTF, London alt-folk band The Melodic and Scottish singer/songwriter Withered Hand. Due to a prior commitment in the evening, I only had time to catch The Melodic (stay tuned for a detailed report of Thursday evening’s activities!), but their set was entirely worth the special trip.

I think I may have been genetically predestined to fall in love with a band called The Melodic, as I told our wise editor Mary when she suggested that I take a listen to them before SXSW. Good melodies, vocal and/or instrumental, are key to my musical experience, regardless of whether they’re found in a folk, pop, rock, or electronic context. In the case of The Melodic, their catchy and easily singable melodic lines are couched in a traditional folk sound that is liberally flavoured with African and Latin influences as well as dashes of jazz harmony and classical technique that keep things interesting. The band’s energetic set list at El Sapo on the afternoon included their upbeat recent single, ‘On My Way’ and the more introspective ‘Ode to Victor Jara’, both of which appear on their debut album ‘Effra Parade’. But my favorite moment of the afternoon was their performance of a traditional English folk song, ‘Go Your Way’, written by Anne Briggs and sung beautifully here by Lydia Samuels.

The Melodic at El Sapo 13 March 2014

The Melodic, featuring dueling melodicas

After The Melodic’s set, I was able to sit down to an impromptu picnic with Rudi Schmidt, Samuels, and Huw Williams (pictured above), who were kind enough to chat with me while they enjoyed the unique menu offerings from El Sapo. Our delightful discussion touched on the portability of their eclectic instruments, the global influences on their songwriting, and their current American tour.

Special thanks goes out to Orlando, Alex and Sophia for their help with arranging this interview.

SXSW 2014 showcases at El Sapo

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

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