Mélanie De Biasio – Lilies (2017)

Mélanie De Biasio - Lilies (2017)
Artist: Mélanie De Biasio
Album: Lilies
Genre: Vocal Jazz
Origin: Belgium
Released: 2017
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps
Your Freedom Is The End Of Me 03:51
Gold Junkies 03:19
Lilies 04:02
Let Me Love You 04:08
Sitting In The Stairwell 02:49
Brother 03:11
Afro Blue 04:33
All My Worlds 06:40
And My Heart Goes On 05:58


Lest any listener presume by the title that Melanie De Biasio’s third proper album indicates a sunnier sound in contrast with that of the post-industrial suite Blackened Cities, Lilies was recorded in an environment that could be called ascetic. The singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer herself said: “I was in this room where there was no light, no night or day at all, no heat.” It in fact builds from her 2016 release. The connection is crystal clear in lead single “Gold Junkies,” a nervy number in which “Blackened cities rumble, strangers stroll, and lovers stumble” is intoned with that understated and uncannily fraught-yet-cool De Biasio style. While the album was evidently conceived in cramped quarters lacking climate control — possibly a location with a very strict noise ordinance — some heat was generated by the presence of the versatile core trio that has supported her before. If the vocals were removed, the songs, frequently coated in reverb, would still evoke sleep-deprived trance states induced by emotional affliction. “Your Freedom Is the End of Me” trudges hypnotically with Juba Zaki’s lyrics very much in line with De Biasio’s own writing: “Tears ain’t blood, but oh, how they flow.” “Let Me Love You” (“or stab me to death”) picks up the pace but heaves with sexual frustration. On “And My Heart Goes On,” one of only two songs on which De Biasio plays flute, a simple deep pulse and a slightly disturbing background noise seem to intensify De Biasio’s anguish as she whispers about hot skin and frozen bones, like her body is about to burst from the contrasting conditions. A thrumming version of “Afro Blue” excepted, Lilies is a set of originals — one that’s enticing and breathtaking in an unconventional, as in almost stifling, sense.
Review by Andy Kellman