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The Melodic - Effra Parade (Review)

The Melodic, Effra Parade

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

HAVING charmed the pants off us with their recent single On My Way, The Melodic now release their self-recorded and self-produced LP, Effra Parade. Alas, they can’t consistently maintain that charm all the way through.

Recorded in a sound-proofed bedroom in south London over several years with a baroque line-up of 18 instruments, the album is heavily inspired by 1960s folk as well as incorporating influences from around the world and instruments such as the charango and kora which give the album a unique sound.

This is immediately apparent on the standout track, On My Way, the charming and addictive central melody of which lingers throughout the remainder of proceedings. But perhaps that’s part of the frustration, for having hit upon such an ear-pleasing sound, The Melodic seldom stray too far away from it.

There’s arguably a need for some greater diversity, especially on an LP that boasts 15 songs.

Some self-indulgence doesn’t help, either, with an interlude track named Willow emerging as a little too ‘tree-huggy’.

That’s not to say the album is bad. Far from it. The boy-girl harmonies do possess their own charm and the melodic structure is, on the whole, ear-pleasing and endearing.

There’s some quirky eccentricity on show in songs like Dreams of Air, which speaks of hair turning white in bed and visions from beneath the sea, while on Come Outside has an instantly appealing quality thanks to its catchy choruses and appealing instrumentation.

Runaway, too, has a toe-tapping quality about it thanks to a brisk pace, some cute instrumental hooks and more of those pleasing boy-girl vocals.

But while near-consistently amiable for the most part, the album needs one or three more genuinely special moments to make it more of a standout. It’s a comfortable, even comforting listen… but there’s just something missing.

Download picks: On My Way, Come Outside, Dreams of Air, Runaway

Track listing:

  1. Last Thing You Said (Intro)
  2. On My Way
  3. Imperfect Time
  4. Plunge
  5. Honey Bee (Nterlude)
  6. Roots
  7. Runaway
  8. Ode to Victor Jara
  9. Willow (Interlude)
  10. Come Outside
  11. Lost You
  12. Dreams of Air
  13. Watch the World Turn Blue
  14. Piece Me Back Together
  15. Effra Parade (Outro)