Adam Melchor is an artist who has somewhat recently come onto my radar. With peaceful, positive acoustic jams, Melchor makes the perfect music for a restful Sunday afternoon. 2021’s ‘Melchor Lullaby Hotline Vol. 1’ remains one of my favourite releases of last year, and one I frequently have on loop to this day. Today, he released his debut album ‘Here Goes Nothing!’ which takes everything I loved about his last record and cranks it up to 11. In his own words on Instagram, the album depicts: “A story of a long distance love in the pandemic (and after)… a cycle of wanting to be together while being apart and not being able to do much about it. Sometimes it’s good to let love go, but when you finally get your chance at a love like this, the best thing you can do is take a look over the cliff, dive head first and say…here goes nothing!”.
I’m Afraid I Love You opens the record. Simple block chord piano and swirling strings play as his soft vocals enter. “I was on the lookout for a fancy group of letters to come out of my mouth so you would think that I was clever.” “I’m afraid I love you” he sings as explosive sounds enter, exposing the gravity of that realisation; symbolising the anxiety that comes with falling in love and making it known. The song feels anxious, with an air of excitement and hopefulness.
Blossoming synths open I’m Ready before gentle finger-picked acoustic guitar enters. “I confessed my love for you in some old dive bar in Los Angeles.” He sings, following up from the previous song. The chorus explodes with layered harmonies and cinematic strings, aiding to the emotional weight of the song. Strings, flute, and a full brass section grow towards the end of the track before it strips back down to acoustic guitar and vocals; an intimate finish to a beautiful track.
Angel Numbers follows, a more sombre track then those prior. About looking for signs and messages from the universe to help guide decisions, the song explores the desperate attempts we make to look for signs in situations we feel we are hopeless in, or ones that are out of our control. “I don’t really care if it’s true. Right now, I’d take any sign to prove that I should stay with you” he sings over blossoming strings. “Fighting through the fiction ‘till I find something to use. Only superstitious ‘cos I have something to lose.” Semi-distorted guitar opens Cry. Produced a bit more pop than the other tracks, Cry explores the idea of not wanting to cry or be fully vulnerable in front of someone you love. He picks apart why this idea is embedded into him. Through infectious hooks and an easy-to-follow narrative, the song is as catchy as it is revealing. Soft piano and reversed, distorted vocals open Touch and Go before simple acoustic guitar enters with Melchor’s vocals. Again, the track is laced with intricate harmonies and swelling strings, giving the track thickness and body while still being lyrically and narrative focused. Percussion is simplistic and minimal, entering during the second verse. “Sometimes the best plans fall out of your hand.”
Turnham Green is a beautiful ballad depicting how we’ll never fully understand someone else’s motivations and decisions, no matter how hard we try. “I took every step, in your heart and in your head. I see what you see, but nothing looks right” he sings in each chorus. “You took me somewhere I’d never be.” “You carved out your decision, before you took a turn from me” he sings about an unexpected decision he wasn’t consulted on, that he’s trying to wrap his head around.
Rest of My Night opens with simple trumpet and piano. With a waltz-style rhythm and simple melody, the track is stripped back and introspective. Melchor unpacks his regrets and downfalls which contribute to his own loneliness. “Why am I scared of the people who love me when it’s me who pushed them aside?” At the midway point, the tone of the track, introducing a new character; depicting a lost love. “…all I can wonder is why you’re not next to me, like you’re supposed to be, spending the rest of your night.” Let Me Know feat. Fleet Foxes opens with Melchor’s vocals and simple piano, forcing the listener to hone in on his lyrics. “Let me know when you fall out of love with me so it won’t so bad when you leave. At least then I’ll expect it, I’ll tell my heart accept it, when you fall out of love with me.” The music builds into an elaborate instrumental section, with unsettling strings peeking through the atmospheric sounds of the other instruments, representing the impending heartache. The track ends quite suddenly with the lines “Let me know when you fall out of love with me.”
Dorothy is piano driven, with a simple melodic line that often follows along with Melchor’s vocals. With references to The Wizard of Oz, the track details someone he loves going on a different direction. “Dorothy, I thought I was your place to dream. But you walked down that yellow road and saw something I couldn’t see.” This draws back to the ideas explored in Turnham Green, exploring the notion that you’ll rarely understand someone else’s decisions and motives. “I want to know what’s happening to ya. But it hurts too much right now.” Sorry Adam closes the album, featuring samples swirling in and out and a simple piano line, before stripping back almost entirely as Melchor’s vocals enter. He lists off his regrets with his family. From missing his mother’s calls to never responding to his father’s texts, the track is a melancholic analysis of his downfalls. In his final verse, he apologises to himself and vows to be a better person. “Sorry…I’ll make it up to you” he sings at the end of each verse, solidifying this idea.
‘Here Goes Nothing!’ does a fantastic job of solidifying Adam Melchor as one of the most exciting new voices in alternative music right now. Equal parts hopeful and introspective, the record is an excellent look at love and loneliness. Featuring cinematic instrumentation, the album plays out like a movie; with each track containing its own short narrative.
‘Here Goes Nothing!’ is available now on all platforms – LISTEN HERE
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With thanks to Warner Music Australia