Melanie A. Davis
Emanating from the low hills of western Kentucky (Murray, KY) are the unmistakable songs of Melanie A. Davis. A performer at heart and writer by trade, her ability to craft simultaneously poignant and liberating tunes is steeped in an appreciation for the nuances of human relationships. Whether contemplating the potential of her immediate community, reflecting the global zeitgeist, or considering her own vices and tendencies, she never shies away from the glaring truths therein. Honey Locust, Davis’ third full-length album, is set to release on August 4, 2023. The 13-track collection of jazz, folk, and doo-wop-inspired songs center around the seedy truths that hide beneath familiar tropes of American existence: patriotism (or a lack thereof), senses of belonging and self, social responsibility, and love. Honey Locust peers behind the curtain, revealing the piles of dust and petrified insects behind the glittering lights of the marquee. Like a honey locust tree, the barbed reality of these concepts is often invisible until peered at with a closer eye, a deeper skepticism. The album features folk sensibilities (acoustic, fingerstyle guitar and a heavy lyrical emphasis); jazz-inspired vocals and harmonic language; and glimpses into Davis’ personal relationship with music, from soaring lap steel à la David Gilmour to airtight harmonies reminiscent of golden age vocal ensembles to touches of the ancient, fantastical, and other-worldly. The title track opens the album - a lamenting love song to the nation herself sung by a woman raised in the voracious nationalism of the early 2000s: “My lover, I can’t say that I still recognize you. Those lies have a way of changing the lines on your face” (Honey Locust). Further into the record, Davis explores what it means to be a woman in this country (Mrs. America), grief (The Rind), self-made solitude (The River), the global pandemic of 2020 (Germination), what it means to be an artist (What’s It For), and, finally, a world-weary reflection on the idea of nostalgia, home, and the disillusionment with which they often waltz (Magnolia). All songs were written and primarily performed by Melanie A. Davis. Other instrumentation, engineering, and mixing/mastering by Fate McAfee. Honey Locust comes on the heels of several other recent releases, including the politically driven Allegoria (2020); a collection of pop-centric quarantine confessionals, Dear Diary, Do You Hate Me? (2020); a 3-track EP exploring the past, present, and after lives, Monodies for the Elysians (2021); and a 5-track EP of love and folk songs, recorded with McAfee, The Honeymoon Sessions (2022). Davis’ stage experience translates into a captivating live performance that leaves the listener hanging with each line. She delivers complex phrases that speak to neuroses we all understand yet don’t always articulate, all within a fresh wave of jazz-inspired folk arrangements that tend to emphasize the range of emotions she describes. With an inimitable voice and terrific sense of rhythm on the guitar, she has created a genuinely original sound within the music scenes of the Midsouth and beyond.
Based in Atlanta, GA, Chloe Kay has been singing since she was a child, and has been writing songs since she was a young teenager. Pulling influence from golden age jazz vocalists and a formative theatrical background, as well as the sea of indie sounds she has swam in since adolescence, Chloe creates her unique sound by weaving together dreamy melodies and poignant lyrics. Most importantly, she pulls from the experiences of her life, writing all her songs first alone with a guitar. She stays open with production, sometimes playing with her band, all of whom she sang alongside while in high school back in Tucson where they are all originally from, and other times working with producers to build out tracks. No matter what, the songs she writes and her voice remain the through line and the constant. Chloe is currently releasing with the international indie music label Moonlit Music Group, originating from The Islands of the Bahamas and released her debut album, That Time, in 2018. In 2021 she released a collection of electronic indie-pop singles, and is currently working on her second album which promises immense growth both as a musician and a writer.
The Little Britches Rodeo