This exceptional Canadian-born, London-based singer-songwriter has been compared to Liz Fraser from the Cocteau Twins, Kate Bush and Laurie Anderson, but in truth she is a unique spirit all of her own making.
Most singers make their homes in either alternative pop or dance music, but Melody Klyman bucks the trend in that she has excelled in both fields over the years. As Melody Klyman, her first two alt.pop albums received rave reviews in The Guardian, Time Out and Clash Magazine, while she also has a parallel electronic music alias which she’s been using for a number of years – Liz Melody.
She uses the Liz Melody moniker when singing on club tracks, when writing songs/toplines for other performers, and for the voiceover work she does. She also has a dance vocal and production project as Breaks Will Eat Itself - a breakbeat homage to 90s indie-dance act Pop Will Eat Itself in name .
However, it’s as Melody Klyman that she has fully been able to express the range of her emotions, and earn comparisons with some of the finest, quirkiest female singer-songwriters in music history.
A classically trained pianist, Elizabeth Melody Klyman began writing her own songs while still at school. She started an indie band at the age of 18, playing small venues around Toronto in Canada, but it was after visiting the UK in the mid-90s that she fell in love with rave and club culture.
Falling in with the Kickin Records/Slip N Slide crew in London, she guested on Boomshanka’s piano house anthem ‘Gonna Make You Move’ and subsequently divided her time between North America and the UK over the coming years. She’s picked up a gold disk for her dance diva work and sold some songs to house label Champion Records, but in terms of electronic music she truly bedded into the breakbeat scene during the noughties and became “the voice of breaks” (DJ magazine).
As Liz Melody she’s guested with a host of well-known dance artists such as Splitloop, Slyde, Future Funk Squad and the Crystal Method, and released several solo singles, but it was when crafting her Melody Klyman work that she received most acclaim from the musical mainstream.
Her debut album ‘Sovereign’ revelled in gothic-tinged dream-pop, leading The Guardian to say: “At its best her music is like Siouxsie Sioux in a tussle with UNKLE – it’s symphonic, strident yet somehow soulful.”
The critics strained to capture the essence of Melody Klyman’s voice in conjunction with offbeat electronic pop production. Time Out called ‘Sovereign’: “Haunting pulse-pop resembling Laurie Anderson fronting a re-imagined One Dove”, while Andy Pemberton from Q magazine called Melody “A Cocteau Twins for the i-generation”.
Album two, 2010’s ‘Bending The Knotted Oak’ (Blackwing Records), was more experimental than its predecessor ‘Sovereign’. ‘Superhuman’ seemed to channel the spirit of Bat For Lashes over Tricky-esque production, while ‘Thrill Seeker’ thrillingly out-Bush’d Tori Amos.
Both of Melody’s albums have been produced by Glen Nicholls, aka Soil In The Synth and Future Funk Squad. Uber-producer Glen has mixed and remixed everybody from Everything Everything to Depeche Mode, Snow Patrol to The Prodigy, and their enduring partnership continues to this day.
For her next release ‘The Mountain Of Too Much’ EP, due out in Spring 2011, Melody has not only covered a This Mortal Coil track, but also produced stream-of-consciousness lead track ‘In Limbo’ which could be mistaken for something off the new Kate Bush album.
“’The Mountain Of Too Much’ refers to the concept of how we get overloaded with things in life, feeling overwhelmed in a constantly challenging world,” she says of the new EP. “and the fact that that we inadvertently put this pressure on ourselves because we keep looking for more stuff to fill the void.”
The duality that drives this artist remains, and her extraordinarily focused art undeniably merits much further investigation.
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