What they say…
“Beautiful, sweet soul with real heart. A sublime southern roots sound!”
Chelsea Wilson (PBS fm 106.7)
Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, country-soul formation The Meltdown is helmed by Simon Burke, the outfit’s singer and songwriter, in collaboration with arranger Lachlan McLean, who also plays baritone sax as part of a three-horn section rounded out by Eamon Mcnelis on trumpet and Anton Delecca (from The Bamboos) on tenor. Add a solid rhythm section composed of Michael Meagher (from The PutBacks) on bass and Hugh Harvey on drums, plus sweet backing vocals from Hailey Cramer and Chantal Mitvalsky, and you’ve got a show.
There are a lot of soul revival bands around, but The Meltdown’s angle is different – Simon and Lachlan are both pretty country and The Meltdown has more than a bit of that Ray Charles country via gospel thing, and a taste of dirty blues in it too. It’s a bold, brassy, twangy steam train of bumping backbeats and swinging shuffles. Then there’s that voice. Sweet as honey. That voice is soul, but it’s country too and something else indefinable; like you heard it before but don’t know where…
The Meltdown first made waves in the soul world in 2015 with their single “Better Days”, which went on to become a huge underground hit, and was even included in the soundtrack to Fox‘s TV series Rosewood. Fast-forward to November 2016 and the band is putting the finishing touches on their debut album, anticipated by single “Colours in The Sky”, a majestic ballad evoking big skies and long roads, with shades of Otis and Sam Cooke on a twangy southern tip.
Still firmly favoring the one room, one take style of analog soul recording, in their upcoming self-titled debut album The Meltdown have convincingly dialed the volume and the tempo down to a smoldering new level without sacrificing any intensity. There’s so much space between the shimmer of the guitar and the warmth of the wurlitzer that the verses feel like open horizons, and the choruses pile up like clouds in layers of celestial female vocals and soaring Hammond organ. Great vibe, great players, great sound, but it’s the songs that are king here.
Ladies and gentlemen, let us introduce to you the inimitable sound of The Meltdown. And yes, in advance, you’re welcome.