Luna Kafé e-zine  Luna Kafé record review
flag Australia - Full Moon 72 - 08/22/02

Melissa Lesnie
Untitled EP
self released

Production and polish, although able to add that little extra something to an already good piece of music, can often detract from the raw immediacy of emotion being articulated. Not so for Australian Melissa Lesnie, whose untitled EP of early recording shows considerable promise for its directness, spontaneity and honesty.

I know little about Melissa other than she started playing music when she was very young and that she's into Nick Cave and Tom Waits. These two performers are influential especially in their approach to their material: the performance is as important as the material being performed. The four songs captured roughly here all sound like they're being played in the next room, unselfconsciously and with no knowledge that there is anyone listening. But this isn't painful musical voyeurism: it's like hearing the beginnings of something potentially brilliant.

I'm not a fan of female singer-songwriters such as Tori Amos and Alanis Morissette: I find their particular brand of open-heart-surgery far too manufactured to really strike a chord in me. Perhaps, deep down, I find it harder to relate to female musicians (yet I love Björk and PJ Harvey). There's a touch of the Alanis about Melissa's voice, but it's not overdone - it's just not particularly my taste.

Opener "Brute" has some lovely harpsichord; "It Was Me" sounds a little like Radiohead; the cover of "Born Slippy" is odd, and not entirely successful. However, the instrumental "Danza del Gaucho Matrero" is where the EP, for me, really excels. A kind of demented Spanish piano dance, the strange chords and maniacal tempo really make my skin tingle with pleasure. Excellent stuff!

The future looks very bright for Melissa Lesnie. She's got my support here at Luna Kafé.

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