Meltt herald brighter days and seek the stratosphere with an EP of indie alt-rock tinged with vibrant aural psychedelia. Something of a misnomer (in the best way), this is Another Quiet Sunday.
Release date: March 3, 2023 | Independent | Website | Facebook | Instagram | Stream/Purchase
As winter appears to finally be loosening its grasp on the Northern Hemisphere, the first inklings of spring are slowly becoming evident, least of all in the brighter starts, softer evenings, and more saturated hues that are creeping into view. Meltt are a band that have seemingly bottled this for audible consumption, with the Canadian quartet dropping Another Quiet Sunday as proof. It’s a splendidly technicolour five-track EP comprising their most recent singles – and their first studio outing, besides a remix EP, since Swim Slowly in 2019 – as ‘a taste of more music to come this year’. This is just as well, because it’s damned earworm-y stuff.
Hit play and it very quickly becomes apparent that Meltt excel in the meticulous use of layered textures and dynamics to craft their sound. While each of the songs found here is rooted largely in one steadfast progression of chords, the band appear to have set their sights on skyward expansion: it’s almost as though they build up rather than out from these foundations, which is arguably a major contributor to the stratospheric overtones you’ll hear seeping forth across the record. It’s very reminiscent of Mutemath, an artist I have always lauded for their experimentality, stellar songwriting chops, and sublime entwining of musical realms – more on that later.
While some of the lyrical matter can hit close to home, touching on loss, connection, and the inevitability of time and its grasp on our lives, you’re kept somewhat sheltered – uplifted, even – by sprightly basslines (prevalent throughout but particularly bopping on see “Only in Your Eyes”). They underpin a weighty share of the optimism percolating forth from Meltt‘s music, which makes great use of memorable melodies and a wonderful mix to accentuate the EP’s brightness without losing sight of the depths that strengthen the overall warmth. It’s a well-balanced, sun-kissed expedition over vast oceans, with beauty both above and below but no risk of the same fate that notedly befell Icarus.
There’s also a lovely juxtaposition in the instrumentation from the four-piece. Immediacy and crispness are offered up by the physical striking of guitar strings and drum kit, with guitar utilised less to drive the rhythm sections and more to unleash luscious lead riffs that paint everything Meltt craft in chirpy colours. Meanwhile, electronic keys add tranquil and oftentimes futuristic, twinkling flourishes and textures that frequently expand an already spacious sound even further. As you’re traversing the carefree pace of “Blossoms” or the bountiful piano of “Within You, Within Me”, the summery hi-hat and duet of lofty lead guitar and vocals often step aside – though not bowing out completely – for more sonorous electronic richness to shine through and really ramp up those low-end tones.
The use of harmonies in the vocals is equally strong and spread lavishly across the mix, bolstering the already upbeat instrumentals with a sense of enriching togetherness that partners with themes present within the lyrics. I found the EP’s closing track to be the best example of this (and every other aforementioned musical characteristic): its pianistic, airborne atmospherics are punctured by soaring motifs and reverberating vocals that burst through the cloud-like chords and roomy drums to bring the record to completion. Not that we are delivered back to terra firma, mind you; we are left thousands of feet up, content, adrift, and basking in the sun as we prepare to remain afloat with another playthrough.
Another Quiet Sunday boasts compositions that are just as vivacious as the EP’s 18-minute duration. Meltt may be keeping us waiting eagerly with the promise of more to come in the future, but what we do get to sink our teeth into in return is an effervescent, energising refreshment of indie/alt-rock goodness that is enjoyable on any given day of the week, although you may struggle to adhere to the ‘quiet’ element of its moniker…
Artist photo by Zachary Vague