My friend Melissa has just released Subtle Things, a six-song follow-up to Mercury, her debut album as Universal Hall Pass. The EP is perfectly balanced between three new songs (“Sally’s Song”, “Cave Radio”, and “Forms of Imprisonment”) and three remixes of Mercury material by Freezepop’s Kasson Crooker.
Full disclosure: I designed the artwork. (It seems that I’ve been bugging Melissa to let me design one of her record sleeves since we were in high school. She finally relented.) In the name of impartiality I should probably refrain from commenting on the music. That said, the thoughtfulness and care that’s been taken with these songs speaks for itself. Melissa’s music has an Old World formality about it —something out-of-time and almost courtly, even with the glimmers of futurism. Yet this is no hackneyed Retro-Futurism either —there’s nothing kitsch about this music. There’s a rigor and totality to Melissa’s wryly philosophic songs. As for musical antecedents, well, you can pick out strains of John Barry here, Les Mysteres des Voix Bulgares there. A little Getz & Gilberto, a little Raymond Scott. But Melissa’s music is her own through and through.
It’s a beautiful record.
PS: This song is from UHP’s debut album, Mercury. If you’re looking to hear the EP, you can sample all of the tracks over at Sneaky Records’ website.