A sweet revolution, Mélissa Laveaux reinvented herself on Memory Is A Strange Bell without evading the sharp character displayed in her acclaimed first album (Camphor and Copper, 2008). With a touch of sophistication, this young woman has traded in the swaying and languishing sweetness of her acoustic folk for an irresistibly energetic and commanding pop. Her writing is as personal as always, her voice still as youthful and sensual, but the arrangements brightly burst of creativity, placing emphasis on rhythm and electronic sounds. Containing powerful imagery, modern orchestrations, catchy melodies and intimate prose, Memory Is A Strange Bell simultaneously touches the heart, the mind and the core.
In April 2016, Mélissa Laveaux headed to Haiti in search of her roots and on a mission to honour her ancestors. Born in Canada to Haitian parents, she did not know what would emerge musically from her pilgrimage although she had a particular interest in the period of American occupation of the island between 1915-1934. Two decades had gone by since she had last set foot in Haiti when she was 12 years old. She felt like a stranger and yet, at the same time, she experienced the thrill of an exile returning home, for Haiti is an intrinsic part of her identity. From these she built Radyo Siwèl, a unique album steeped in Haitian history and culture and yet which is also highly personal and intimate. Draping the songs in an indie rock aesthetic, Mélissa’s reinterprets Haitian heritage, taking traditional tunes, vodou anthems and scraps and phrases discovered in old songbooks, and sewing them together like a patchwork of intersecting identities.
US TOUR DATES
6/28 @ Millennium Park – Chicago, IL
6/29 @ Festival International de Jazz – Montreal, Canada
7/1 @ Summerstage Central Park – New York, NY
7/5 @ Lincoln Center Atrium – New York, NY