It’s been an interesting path that’s led Rebecca Melrose to her current project, Miloux.
Learning to sing in choirs, training in jazz, providing vocals for electronic producers and singing in Sal Valentine’s 18-legged Babyshakes – multitudes of previous experience in eclectic fields has fed into Melrose’s music. The result is a genre description that seems to be popping up more and more often of late – ‘It’s pop music, but…’
It seems to be a result of musicians such as Melrose, who went through Auckland University’s jazz degree, applying an extensive, studious knowledge of the technical aspects of music to – not necessarily simpler, but more minimalistic – pop music. The Means are another example.
In the case of Miloux, the ‘but…’ seems to primarily concern the musicianship involved in crafting the songs. In her works, pop convention is filtered through a lens of jazz, electronica and choral music, giving her music an exciting sense of unpredictability. Pocket Mix is a perfect example of the sense of not quite knowing what is going to happen next, a slow burning pop tune that all of a sudden enters a bridge that resembles Gershwin set to kicks and claps.
Melrose says that while these extended influences have definitely seeped into her music, it tends not to be a conscious process.
“I actually really wanted to do something that wasn’t jazz. I’ve always written jazz and pop songs, but after I finished my degree, I got a lot more into electronic elements – writing on Logic, instead of starting on piano. Usually I’ll start with a drum beat… I have sketches of chord sequences and I’ll usually try and put those on top of the beat.”
The completed tracks have been recorded at Red Bull’s Auckland studio with Ben Lawson. Released single Me And Mine is a dreamy, danceable track that toys with harmony as much as electronics. With the EP currently undergoing its final mixes, Melrose unabashedly says it has “…come out sounding absolutely incredible”.
And Miloux isn’t just turning heads here. Melrose reports unexpected support from the electronic scene in Sydney.
“I didn’t think that would be where a lot of support would come from, but it’s been great. It’s really opened up some doors.”
It will be interesting to see where those doors lead. She has plans for expansion, namely an album, and shows in Australia as soon as she can. Much like her warped take on pop, Miloux is the kind of act with the potential to expand in almost any direction. And again, like her music, the only thing we can expect is that whichever direction Rebecca Melrose takes the project in, it will be with grace and skill and a very profound sense of individuality.