Melanie Joy has been called the love-child of Brian Wilson and Kate Bush, and it’s no wonder: her songs unfold with quirky tales, eloquent metaphors, and intimate lyrics – but melody is still king to this singer-songwriter and pianist.
While she holds a master’s degree in writing, she’s the first to admit she doesn’t over-think her songs. “I get a melody in my head and then the words kind of seep out of the melody,” she explains. “It’s as if the music sounds out what the song is trying to say. Sometimes the words are odd or don’t make sense at first, but I just go with it, and it always comes together. It’s way more intuitive than cerebral.”
Melanie’s new album “Magic” which has been garnering serious attention, features an impressive line-up of talent that have worked with some of the country’s greatest performers including Jann Arden, Chantal Kreviazuk, and Nelly Furtado.
The “Magic” album landed Melanie a national distribution deal with Bullseye Records. Bullseye distributes through Fusion 3 (Canada), Burnside (US), and Revolver/Universal (UK).
The album's first single "Falling In" hit radio stations early 2007, and Melanie launched a promotional tour in June, playing venues from Montreal to Vancouver, with stops in Chicago, Minneapolis, and Seattle.
Most recently, Melanie was awarded a FACTOR Marketing and Promo Loan which will help contribute to her new marketing initiatives. With $5000 to start, this three-tier plan could potentially net her publicity and promotions $15,000. And... Melanie was also just awarded another FACTOR demo award for one of her new songs "Waltz of the Thirty-Something Bachelor," which she'll be recording soon.
"Magic" can be found in stores across Canada including HMV and Sunrise Records. Melanie's second single, the album's title track, is slated to be released April 2008. The song 'Magic' was a top ten finalist for the West Coast Songwriters International Song Contest 2007 and ended up winning an Honourable Mention in the Pop Category.
"Magic" Album Reviews
“A great CD is not on Amazon but on CDBaby.com. Her name is Melanie Joy and her album is titled ‘Magic’. Some beautiful songs with a lovely, quirky voice, this album is worth checking out if you're a piano-pop fan.”
“Melanie - There is no doubt in my mind that [Magic] is one of the best songs I've heard here at TAXI all year long. Everything about it -- the melody, your incredible voice, the engaging musical performance -- all works beautifully. There's something more, though. Some undefinable quality that sets it apart from everything else. I believe this has to do with your charisma as a performer. There's some sort of spark that you exude, something substantial that most artists just don't have. I believe this is because some people are born with a natural ability. They understand the importance of drama in a performance. They get inside the essence of a song and live within the music. It is magical! Thanks so much for putting such beautiful music out into the world.”
- TAXI A&R
“Melanie Joy has her own amazing sound unlike anyone I have heard in today’s music scene.”
- Farris Green (SugarcainEntertainment.com)
“Thank you, Melanie, for the joy I received after hearing your songs. Each song is treated with its own special production and arrangement. Melody lines are distinct and memorable. Lyrics are intelligently salacious, yet not guttural. The lyric imagery is distinct and shows your skills as an intelligent writer. Vox are emotionally engaging and at times riveting. I am sure your live performances are amazing. It's times like these that I am thankful to be a screener at TAXI, when I hear an artist as yourself give so much emotional sincerity, and great music and lyrics to a submission. I thank you for the pleasure of getting to know your songs.”
- TAXI A&R
“Take a listen to Melanie Joy's ‘Magic,’ the singer's first full-length album, and you might wonder what kind of old-soul is dwelling inside such a young, and vibrant singer. Eloquent, melodic, and yet sometimes wonderfully quirky, Melanie captures the essence of fading dreams and vibrant experiences in each of her songs, marrying them to her enthralling melodies.”
- W. Andrew Powell (TheGate.ca)
“Magic is a perfect first offering from Melanie Joy as a solo artist. Fans will turn it up for vibrant, energetic tunes like 'Salesman Sanctity' and will doubtlessly fall for Melanie's signature lofty lyrics and intruiging melodies in 'Three' and 'Chasing Time'. I love it! It's all over my ipod!”
- Carey Campbell (CityTV)
“The vocal is incredible. Your voice is so sincere, and you obviously have the God-given ability to not only sing well, but draw out incredible drama and emotion from the performance. The best singing on a Taxi submission I've heard in a long time. Great, personal sounding lyrical imagery that also has plenty of commercial accessibility.”
- TAXI A&R
“Melanie Joy's piano work is evocative, mesmerizing, and often relentless, and her voice grips you instantly, but what stands out even more on this CD is the quality and diversity of her songwriting. ‘Magic’ builds to an irresistable chorus, ‘Elevators & Cherry Pie’ has more flavorful quirks than most people's entire albums, ‘Chasing Time’ haunts with a universal sadness, ’Three’ continues a magical story (let's hope she releases the other two parts quickly), and ’Salesman Sanctity’ is flat-out joyous in its cleverness and its addictiveness. You can listen to all the songs on this CD endlessly and get more and more from them, and that's a talent that simply can't be dismissed.”
- Neil Randall (The Record)
“You have the lyrical phrasing of a Poetess.”
- TAXI A&R
“From the moment I put this CD on I knew Melanie was something special. Gorgeous piano playing, catchy melodies, thought provoking lyrics, and a beautiful voice. These are the kind of songs that demand repeat listening and I promise you will wake up with them playing in your head. ’Magic’ and ‘Falling In’ are standout tracks and ‘Perfect Army’ is brilliant in both lyric and melody. A truly spellbinding experience from start to finish.”
- Garth Baker (Producer)
“The singer and pianist has a remarkable skill for writing songs. ‘Falling In’ is a sensitive and moving song, Joy's piano weighing in well. I'm reminded of Sarah McLachlan's early work.”
- Anna Maria Stjarnell (CollectedSounds.com)
“Probably closer in style to Chantal Kreviazuk than say Tori Amos, Joy builds from quiet piano solos to lush and powerful full–on arrangements that occasionally approach a frenzied edge, but always pull back to the safety of the song’s origins. Lyrically, Joy follows a similar cat–and–mouse pattern, often starting with what seems like a passing remark, but quickly fashioning a unique but solid rhyme out of nowhere.”
- Declan Kelly (Echo Weekly)
Melanie Joy - vocals/piano
Lorne Sokoloff - bass guitar
Chris Whyte - drums & percussion
***Note: Depending on venue, Melanie can play by herself (vocal-piano), in a trio or with a full band.
Melanie Joy - vocals/piano
Peter Linseman - acoustic & electric guitar
Marc Ganetakos - acoustic & electric guitar
Rob "The Bubba" Brown - bass
Kevin Fox - cello
Alex Cheung - violin
Gary Craig - drums & percussion
Melanie Joy: "Magic" - Nationally distributed by Bullseye Records Canada/Fusion 3 Distribution. In Canadian retail stores HMV and for sale online Amazon.ca, Sunrise/Mymusic, and Fusion 3.
Melanie Joy - 5 song EP released 2003
Moon in Pisces: "Something Blue" - 5 song EP released 2000
The Tunnel Theory - 8 song EP, released 1996
Melanie Joy hopes to make magic with new CD
[+ Show ]
LORI LITTLETON Spectrum - Thursday, November 09, 2006 A few years ago, Melanie Joy was conside...LORI LITTLETON
Spectrum - Thursday, November 09, 2006
A few years ago, Melanie Joy was considering a career in academia. However, while completing her master's degree in writing at the University of Waterloo, she decided music was her future.
So, within a week of wrapping up her thesis in 2002, the St. Catharines native packed her bags and headed to Toronto to embark on a music career. At first, she worked with another singer, but then, in the summer of 2003, the Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School and Brock University graduate decided to go it alone.
"I had been singing backup at shows and people would come up to me and say, 'No offence to the singer, but why have someone else sing your songs?' I started thinking about that," she said.
Joy put together a solo demo CD, which was released in October of that year, and began playing some gigs around the GTA.
During this time, she met producer Peter Linseman, and the two began working on a debut CD in February 2004. By the following summer, Joy, 29, was exhausted - both financially and emotionally. She knew the album , entitled Magic, had to be finished.
It was released in October 2005.
However, that's when things started happening to give the up-and-coming singer pause.
In November 2005, she signed a management contract with Music Mentor Productions and, in April of this year, she signed a national distribution deal with Bullseye Records, who distribute through Fusion 3 in Canada, Burnside Distribution Corp. in the U.S. and Revolver/Universal in the U.K.
"When I got the distribution deal, that's when we realized it would be a great opportunity. I would have my CD in stores across the nation. This is the time I want people to hear the best version," she explained.
Joy headed back into the studio to rework some of Magic's 12 tracks. During some 19-hour days, she was joined by several well-known and accomplished musicians, including drummer Gary Craig (Anne Murray, Jann Arden, Bruce Cockburn), guitarist Marc Ganetakos (Nelly Furtado) and cellist Kevin Fox (Chantal Kreviazuk, Sarah Harmer). Joy and Linseman co-produced the album.
Prior to the new studio sessions, Joy, who sounds at times like Kate Bush and at other times like Kylie Minogue, said she began to tire of some of her songs.
"But this inspired some life into them and now they're my favourite songs," she said.
"There might be some subtleties the average listener wouldn't notice, but to us, there are subtleties and enormous changes as well."
To celebrate the new album's completion, Joy is having two CD release parties. One took place earlier this month at Clinton's Tavern in Toronto. The other will be held Saturday at the Moose and Goose in Thorold, with opening act The City Walls.
Magic is currently on sale online - at www.melaniejoy.com and through Bullseye and CDBaby - but won't be in stores until January. The first single, Falling In, has been released to radio stations across Canada and a video is in progress.
Growing up in north St. Catharines, Melanie Joy Douglas began playing piano and writing songs when she was about nine years old. Her parents, Jim and Eunice Douglas, still live in the Garden City. At 17, Joy found her way to John Lummen, who taught her a song could be whatever she wanted it to be. Through her association with Lummen, Joy became good friends with his daughter, Chelsea Pritchard.
"I ended up working on music with her. She would sing and I would play the piano. I was too shy to sing," Joy said, adding they formed The Tunnel Theory and played regularly at former downtown venue The Club. Later came Moon in Pieces.
Now, after three years of hard work on her own, Joy is hoping to enjoy some level of success with Magic. Though she continues to write songs - she has a catalogue of more than 100 tunes - she's not thinking about a followup album yet.
"I'm going to ride out this one and do as much as I can," she said.
WHO: Melanie Joy CD release party, with The City Walls
WHERE: Moose and Goose, 54 Front St., Thorold
WHEN: Nov. 11, 9 p.m.
Tickets: $5, at the door
Joy finds magic with music
[+ Show ]
JOHN LAW / Review Staff Writer Entertainment - Friday, November 03, 2006 Sorry, Mr. and Mrs....JOHN LAW / Review Staff Writer
Entertainment - Friday, November 03, 2006
Sorry, Mr. and Mrs. Joy. The music biz has gotten your daughter good.
Sure, Melanie looked like teacher material from the get-go. Great marks at Sir Winston Churchill high school in St. Catharines. A scholarship for Brock University. A Masters in writing at the University of Waterloo. A brief stint as a professor at Humber College.
Then an "epiphany" hit her: "Most of my students would tell you I'm not supposed to be a teacher. I just can't imagine doing it for the rest of my life."
It's a familiar dilemma for everyone chasing a record deal - please your parents, or indulge the dream while you're still young.
"My mother, meaning well, always said, 'Be a teacher because you'll have the summers off to do music,'" says Joy from Toronto, where she's battling a cold.
"That was her philosophy. So, I would think, OK, be a teacher so I could have the summers off to do what I really want to do.
"It didn't make sense to me, so I thought, what the hell, I'm just going to try this and if I fail ... whatever. At least I have my education."
She may have a lot more than that soon. Joy has won rapturous reviews for her debut CD, "Magic." Enough to convince Bullseye Records to sign her up and release the CD across Canada in two months, although it's available now on her website (www.melaniejoy.com).
A sharply produced blend of piano-driven pop and animated melodies, "Magic" has been Joy's entire life these past few years. After its original release last year, she went back in the studio to polish it up for the new version in January.
"No matter how prepared you are, things always go wrong at the last minute," she says. "Things come out of nowhere. All of a sudden, you have static on a track.
"Even after listening to these songs for two years, all of a sudden you hear something you haven't heard before. It's always a scramble. "This summer I was thinking, 'I can't do this any more.' I needed to wrap up. I had no money. By that point, I had exhausted every credit card cash advance, every bank loan. It literally broke me."
Her wallet, not her spirit.
Dreading the thought of hearing "I told you so" from the parents, Joy plugged away on the album until finances made her stop. The finished product sounds remarkably mature for a debut album, with her influences showing on a polished slate of songs.
One of those influences - surprisingly - isn't Tori Amos. Despite being taken by Amos' "Crucified" video years ago, Joy's sound leans more towards Jewel.
Everyone agrees on the voice, however.
"People kept on saying, 'You sound so much like Kate Bush,' and I had never heard of her! A few years ago, I walked into a record store and I was, like, 'I've got to find out who this woman is.'
"I don't really take offense when people say stuff like that, because it's interesting that I would sound like someone when I've never heard their music. It's nice. It's cool. It's a compliment."
It only gets more hectic for Joy from here. Following CD release parties Saturday at Clinton's Tavern in Toronto and Nov. 11 at the Moose & Goose in Thorold, she gears up for shows across Canada starting next spring.
And interviews. And photo shoots. And surgery on a wrist injured two years ago.
She's simply too busy to be nervous.
"I probably should be, but I'm just happy (the CD) is there. Whatever happens, either way, I move on to the next thing."
An Interview with Melanie Joy
[+ Show ]
Written by Stephen J. Noel See live article here: http://www.lucidforge.com/music/interviews/an-i...Written by Stephen J. Noel
See live article here: http://www.lucidforge.com/music/interviews/an-interview-with-melanie-joy.html
Since finishing grad school, Melanie Joy has been pouring herself into live performance and studio work. If you haven't heard her music or heard of her, you soon will. She is a gifted songwriter and talented pianist whose latest collection of songs is about to be released across Canada. Melanie recently agreed to answer some questions about her work.
Thank you for your time, Melanie. I know you're swamped right now. I've heard you've been up to a lot since the release of your album "Magic" last November. Can you fill me in?
Well, since the release of the album, I've been back in the studio, reworking some of the songs.
We had Gary Craig - who plays drums for Anne Murray, Jann Arden, Edwin, and Bruce Cohburn - come back in to do some more drum tracks for us. We redid some vocal tracks too - just revamping the first singles Falling In and the title-track Magic. Then I signed a national distribution deal with Bullseye Records of Canada in April and starting talking to director Stephen Scott from Spy Entertainment about working on a video for Falling In. Stephen's directed videos for The Trews, Shaggy, Delerium, Ron Sexsmith, and Chris Martin of Coldplay. He's amazing!
The plan was for my album to hit music stores across Canada - including HMVs - early August - so, about this time, really. But then, I realized how much stronger the newer mixes are and I thought, okay, I want people to hear only the very best. If this CD is going across the nation, I want it to be my finest work. So, I decided to head back into the studio, rework the rest of the songs some more, remix, remaster, and remanufacture the album before it hits stores.
So now, we've added some outstanding musicians to an already killer line-up. Our new additions include Marc Ganetakos on electric guitar - he was lead guitarist for Nelly Furtado and now works with acts like Madviolet - and Kevin Fox, cellist for talents like Danny Michel, Damhnait Doyle, and Chantal Kreviazuk.
These guys, combined with Gary Craig on drums, Rob "the Bubba" Brown on bass, Alex Cheung on violin, my co-producer and manager Peter Linseman on guitars, and, of course, my piano-tinkerings - it's sounding really cool. We've also got Phil Demetro from Lacquer Channel mastering the album, so overall - very exciting.
We're aiming to have the bigger, better "Magic" album done by early October and in stores by the end of that month.
Yikes. I'm out of breath. And that's the short version!
Your original release of Magic has been received with many rave reviews. Tell me about some of your inspirations for the album.
Well, because "Magic" was my first big solo project - I've worked with other singers for years previous to this - the collection of songs on the album span a good ten years of writing. Songs like Cactusman, Salesman Sanctity, and Elevators & Cherry Pie were written when I was in high school, while Falling In, World's Breaking Through Me, and Three were written more recently, in the last few years. The other songs fall somewhere in between. I suppose it makes for an interesting variety. It was very difficult to choose which songs should be on the album because I have so many - and they're all so different.
As for inspiration - well, it comes from all sorts of places - from literature, philosophy, and dreams - to my own personal experiences in lust, love, joy, heartbreak, and disappointment. I think so much music and art - at least the stuff I love - is created heavily out of longing. this infinite sense of longing. Longing for what? I don't know. To feel connected, maybe. To feel part of something bigger. It's mostly vague. But, I think, that feeling is so much a part of the human condition. Some feel it more than others. For me, that's where music enters, swells, and fills.
With a distribution deal now firmly in place and growing interest from the industry, the times must be very exciting for you. How will you be channeling this positive feedback? Songwriting? A tour?
We're planning on releasing the first single Falling In to radio and video and then touring in support of the single and the album as a whole.
With this industry, you just keep building on what you've got. Positive feedback is nice - it's a confirmation that you're on the right track - but whatever the feedback - good or bad, you listen, absorb, evaluate, make changes where necessary, and then move on. Keep learning, keep growing, and keep moving forward. I don't think there will ever be a time in my life where I'll feel like I've reached "my goal" and I can sit back and relax or be complacent in any way. I'm very ambitious. I set targets, and when I complete a project, I reward myself, but I move onto the next. Balance is the key. That's always been my biggest challenge. I'm getting there.
Your songwriting abilities are clearly very strong. Have you been approached by anyone hoping to use your material?
Not recently. I'm beginning to get more comfortable with the idea. I will probably start looking to write songs for other artists in the near future. The music publishing industry is another world we'll be working on.
Your live performances include several exceptional covers, each with an interpretation that is strongly Melanie Joy. How much time do you spend working on these compared to time spent working on your own stuff?
Strongly Melanie Joy? I like that! Well, as you know, the only song I didn't write on my album is Weezer's "Say It Ain't So". I've always loved doing just a stripped-down piano-vocal version of the song, so we added it to the album. It's a nice change of pace.
I actually really enjoy performing some cover tunes each show because I've lived with my songs for so many years now that it feels refreshing to play some Radiohead or Coldplay or Johnny Cash or whatever. I don't really work on arranging the covers, though. For me, I'm so at home with my piano that whatever song I hear - from The Beach Boys to Queens of the Stone Age - the melodies just translate naturally for me on the piano. Whatever comes out, comes out. I don't really think too much about it. Maybe I should think more? I do think I gravitate more toward songs that aren't piano-based because it makes my version of it that much more interesting.
Which artists have you been listening to these days?
Well, anyone who knows me knows how much I adore Radiohead. I actually wrote my M.A. thesis on OK Computer. The Dissociatives are incredible. Daniel Johns is a genius. I'm infinitely inspired by Blind Melon, Coldplay, Bjork, Ben Folds, and Beck, so I've usually got one of those CDs on. They're my staples.
Lately though, I've been listening to a lot of Imogen Heap, Metric, Stars, Feist, Danny Michel, Aqualung, Stabilo, The Trews, Our Lady Peace, and Pilate. I'm a big supporter of Canadian music.
"Concern for the purity of the creative mission" is cited as a driving force among indie artists and fans. Is "independence from commercial pop music and mainstream culture" somewhat of an illusion for some indie artists and aficiandos? and in your experience, have you sensed that major labels are micro-managing artistic content?
I think these two questions can be answered in the same way: independent artists obviously have "a concern for the purity of the creative mission." The democratization of music technology, as every Joe Black can now record a great sounding album in his living room on his computer, has made it possible for artists to go their own ways and avoid major label mood swings.
But what separates the independent artists who are selling records and touring the world from the ones still stuck in their backyards? I think there are really two types of independent artists - the lower case "indie" artists and the capital-I "Indie" artists. "indie" artists rarely get major radio or video spins and the labels they're signed to are not distributed by a major label, if they're even signed, that is. Then, there are the "Independent" artists and bands. They're signed to "Indie" labels like MapleMusic or Arts and Crafts, which are distributed by major labels like Universal or EMI. These bands get radio and video play. The problem is that right now both types of independent bands fall under the same independent umbrella, which means that "indie" artists are applying for grants, loans, and festivals, and their competition are "Indie" artists like City and Colour, Metric, Stars, Pilate, Feist, and Martha Wainwright. How to compete?
It's a contentious issue in general. If an independent artist is exceptionally popular on mainstream media -- the big radio stations, music television, and entertainment shows -- and yet continues to work with an independent label, that is directly distributed by a major label - do you still consider that artist independent? What defines an independent artist? Does an artist stop being independent upon reaching a certain level of success?
There are many misconceptions about the independent music scene in this country. One of the biggest Canadian independent bands has sold only 10,000 copies of its album. Most people would assume that number would be remarkably higher. There are wildly popular Canadian Indie bands and artists not being able to make money in Canada and that's why an increasing number of them are heading to the U.S. or, more notably, overseas. France is becoming quite the expatriate hotspot. It's strange because Canada's music scene has never been hotter. The amount of Canadian talent we have in this country is astounding. When I was in California recently, people in the industry were referring to Toronto as the new Seattle. The world is listening. But, the support system for artists in this country, particularly at the federal level, needs serious rethinking and development.
For more information about Melanie, her music, or her upcoming gigs and CD release parties, visit her websites: www.melaniejoy.com or myspace.com/melaniejoymusic
Additonal Reviews & Press
[+ Show ]
TV Appearances: October '05; June '06 - Melanie appears on Rogers Daytime TV, performs songs from...TV Appearances:
October '05; June '06 - Melanie appears on Rogers Daytime TV, performs songs from "Magic" and interviews with hosts Dean & Darlene.
Chat Room Gossip:
January '06 - Melanie's music is the subject of chat discussions on Vanessa Carlton's website. She is also voted "Music you have to hear" in a list of 15 established artists including Tori Amos, Sarah McLachlin, Sarah Slean, Alannis Morissette, and Fiona Apple!
CD BABY ALBUM REVIEWS
5 stars: Gorgeous, intriguing, personal - and really catchy!
Reviewer: Miles Durrie
This is, in short, an excellent album of melodic, energetic music by a truly original artist. Melanie Joy's voice is often somewhat reminiscent of Susanna Hoffs' in timbre and delivery, but that comparison doesn't really do justice to either singer. Her voice is a combination of power and vulnerability that is truly human (for lack of a better word). The music is driven by Melanie's piano, but is fully realized with pop-rock arrangements on most of the songs. Magic is an album that will keep you coming back to it again and again - a joy to discover and a pleasure to get to know.
5 stars: Songs that pull you in and won't let go!
Reviewer: Garth Baker
From the moment I put this cd on I knew Melanie was something special. Gorgeous piano playing, catchy melodies, thought provoking lyrics and a beautiful voice. These are the kind of songs that demand repeat listening and I promise you will wake up with them playing in your head. Magic and Falling In are standout tracks and Perfect Army is brilliant in both lyric and melody. A truly spellbinding experience from start to finish.
5 stars: A songwriter's paradise
Melanie Joy's piano work is evocative, mesmerizing, and often relentless, and her voice grips you instantly, but what stands out even more on this CD is the quality and diversity of her songwriting. "Magic" builds to an irresistable chorus, "Elevators & Cherry Pie" has more flavorful quirks than most people's entire albums, "Chasing Time" haunts with a universal sadness, "Three" continues a magical story (let's hope she releases the other two parts quickly), and "Salesman Sanctity" is flat-out joyous in its cleverness and its addictiveness. You can listen to all the songs on this CD endlessly and get more and more from them, and that's a talent that simply can't be dismissed.
4 stars: packed with energy- intruiging melodies- heartfelt, passionate lyrics- I love it!
Reviewer: Carey Campbell
Magic is a perfect first offering from Melanie Joy as a solo artist. Fans will turn it up for vibrant, energetic tunes like 'salesman sanctity' and will doubtlessly fall for melanie's signiature lofty lyrics and intruiging melodies in 'three' and 'chasing time'. I love it! It's all over my ipod!
4 stars: Beautiful and Quirky Piano- Driven Music
I really have grown to like many tracks on this album, but my faves are Magic and Perfect Army. I love these two tracks as well as the whole sound of the album. The piano and background makes this well- crafted and at times grogeous music and the voice gives off a sweet and quirky touch that gives the music its own unique angle. I would recommend it for pop piano fans such as I. Perfect Army and Magic will buy any fan I'm sure.
Melanie Signs National Distribution Deal
[+ Show ]
For Immediate Release - ...For Immediate Release - May 11, 2006
MELANIE JOY SIGNS NATIONAL DISTRIBUTION DEAL
On April 24th, 2006, Melanie Joy signed a national distribution deal with Bullseye Records of Canada, Inc.
“Magic” marks this alt-pop singer-songwriter’s solo album debut, though she has been part of two consecutive musical duos since the early nineties. Her songs unfold with quirky tales, eloquent metaphors, and streams of consciousness, delivered by a sweet young voice, floating on haunting piano melodies. It's as if she was the love-child of Brian Wilson and Kate Bush! Melanie Joy has shared the stage with the likes of Andy Kim, Alan Frew, and Spirit of the West.
“We are pleased to add Melanie Joy to our ever expanding roster of talent,” says Bullseye President Jaimie Vernon. “Melanie is sure to impress many audiophiles with her unique brand of music and we are looking forward to helping to bring her to the masses.”
Watch for Melanie Joy’s album "Magic" in retail soon or look for it online through Bullseye Records at www.bullseyecanada.com. Bullseye Records specializes in Canadian independent music and prides itself on being a label run by musicians, providing an artistic and business balance that affords its artists an unprecedented breadth of commitment to new releases and past master re-issues. Other artists distributed by Bullseye Records include Klaatu, Honeymoon Suite, Goddo, Dave Rave, Moxy, Rubber (Harem Scarem), The First Time, Killer Dwarfs, and Creighton Doane among many others.
Bullseye Records distributes through Fusion III Distribution in Canada. It also reaches international territories through Burnside Distribution Corporation (US), and Revolver/ Universal (UK).
#606 - 17 Farmstead Road, Toronto, Ontario M2L 2G1
Voice Mail - 416-510-2356 Facsimile - 416-510-2356
Nashville - 615-297-9924 email@example.com
Melanie Joy's Magic
[+ Show ]
By Declan Kelly A seasoned music hack once theorized that for every boy with a guitar who fanci...By Declan Kelly
A seasoned music hack once theorized that for every boy with a
guitar who fancied himself as a maverick troubadour, there was
girl who had spent countless hours in piano lessons—and could
therefore actually hit a note—and who had the good sense to
keep her music to herself. Gender–based over simplification
aside, his point always struck me as valid enough. Although in the case of former Waterloo resident Melanie Joy’s Magic, it’s more a
matter of a debut artist having the good sense––and the courage––to actually share her considerable songwriting talent with the world. Probably closer in style to Chantal Kreviazuk than say Tori Amos, Joy builds from quiet piano solos to lush and powerful full–on arrangements that occasionally approach a frenzied edge, but always pull back to the safety of the song’s origins. Lyrically, Joy follows a similar cat–and–mouse pattern, often starting with what seems like a passing remark, but quickly fashioning a unique but solid rhyme out of nowhere. Point in case being the high–energy lyrical gem “Cactusman.” That some of the other arrangements seem as though they would be better suited to the lower end of Joy’s impressive vocal range is probably more of a personal preference. As it is, Joy serves up a stripped–down yet stirring version of Weezer’s “Say It Ain’t So” that lends a raw sincerity rivaling that of Rivers Cuomo’s original. Now based in Toronto, Joy and her band put in a rare area appearance on Thursday, April 6 at the Circus Room.
Cadillac Lounge Full of Joy
[+ Show ]
March 19th, 2006 By Farris Green A gust of hot, fresh talent made its way to Queen Street West,...March 19th, 2006
By Farris Green
A gust of hot, fresh talent made its way to Queen Street West, as Melanie Joy performed one of her last shows of the ‘Joy Ride’ series at the Cadillac Lounge. The series had featured herself among other local artists all playing their tunes in the quaint venue with rims and 50’s car posters all over the walls.
“It’s great, there is so much amazing talent with so many people I have never worked with or played a show with before. It has been amazing,” said Melanie talking about the ‘Joy Ride’ series.
What you get in the Melanie Joy package is an eclectic voice along with phenomenal piano skills and flowing lyrics written about her life experiences. She describes her music as ‘alternative piano based pop-rock.’ This woman is backed by her band consisting of her co-producer Peter Linesman on guitar, Rob “Bubba” Brown on bass and Chris Whyte on drums.
Originally from St. Catharines, Melanie now resides in Toronto to pursue her musical journey. First starting out she ventured from pub to pub in St. Catharines playing her music. Now in Toronto she thinks that playing in the big city is much different than the smaller towns.
“It’s very competitive here in Toronto. Sometimes you even have to audition for a show. There’s way more responsibility here for the artist. But it’s good - you learn a lot.” said Melanie.
‘Magic’ her new album is available online and was an obstacle to create, but Melanie’s input made all the difference as she co-produced the album.
“ We had a lot of set-backs and delays. It was tough but at the same time I learned so much. I was involved in every bit of the process along the way. I was there for every moment recording, mixing and mastering, designing artwork – I’m very happy with the final product,” said Melanie.
Her lyrics are unique and have beautiful uses of imagery and metaphors embedded within. Starting to write at the young age of nine, Melanie has since then competed a Masters degree in writing which has helped her with her songwriting.
“My education was in literature and writing, so I think I might play more now with my words and use word puzzles and abstract imagery. I’m sure that a lot of my education is reflected in my lyrics,” said Melanie. As for her songwriting technique - she explains it as “a physical feeling that I have to write something. I might not write for a year but when I get the feeling I go to my piano and pan out a song.”
Melanie Joy has her own amazing sound unlike anyone I’ve heard of in todays music scene. She has been influenced by Brian Wilson, Kate Bush and UK superstars Coldplay and Radiohead. Radiohead’s song ‘Karma Police’ was covered by Melanie at the show that night at the Cadillac Lounge.
As for her career highlights thus far — Melanie Joy points to sharing the stage with Canadian giants Alan Frew and Andy Kim, working with accomplished producer Peter Linseman, and recording her album with legendary drummer Gary Craig who has worked with Anne Murray, Edwin, Jann Arden, and Bruce Coburn.
The future looks busy and exciting for Melanie Joy and her band.
“We are looking for a distribution deal, music overseas, more performances and a video and single on the radio by the end of the year,” said Melanie.
For more information on Melanie Joy or to buy her album ‘Magic’ you can go to her website www.melaniejoy.com
Lights! Cameras! Brock Graduates Entertain Us!
[+ Show ]
By Joan-Wiley Storm November 2005 Melanie Joy Douglas (BA ’00) was another shy student when she ...By Joan-Wiley Storm
Melanie Joy Douglas (BA ’00) was another shy student when she entered her first year at Brock. The singer-songwriter pianist, known professionally by the name of Melanie Joy, has just released her first solo album called ‘Magic’. She says the small class sizes –“my one fourth-year class had only four students”—encouraged her to overcome her shyness, speak up, and develop presentation skills.
“My English language and literature background at Brock really helped my lyrics writing, and my Brock education, in general, immensely helped my ability to think analytically,” says the Toronto-based recording artist. “Not only that, at Brock I felt that my opinions mattered and were valued, and that gave me a lot of confidence,” says Joy, who describes her music as alternative pop-rock.
She gained enough confidence to embark on a solo career after ten years of collaborating with other singers, and to turn down offers from established labels. (Joy feared that she may have to compromise her artistic integrity.) She chose instead to deliberately travel the much-harder road in the entertainment industry, that of independently producing her album. Her co-producer is Peter Linseman of Toronto.
“I chose to pay heed to that inner voice and do it my way,” says Joy, who also has a master’s degree in professional writing from the University of Waterloo. “I was involved in the entire creative process: from writing all the songs on the album, to arranging and co-producing the songs, to being involved with the fine details of the artwork and graphics.”
She hopes to be touring with her band as early as next year. For more information about Joy, click on www.melaniejoy.com.
[Also interviewed in the article: Rick Campanelli of Entertainment Tonight Canada (former Muchmusic VJ) and Dean Pollack, a production coordinator in the Canadian film industry.]
Melanie Joy's 'Magic' Show
[+ Show ]
By W. Andrew Powell http://www.thegate.ca/interviews/melanie-joy.php Take a listen to Melanie Jo...By W. Andrew Powell
Take a listen to Melanie Joy's Magic, the singer's first full-length album, and you might wonder what kind of old-soul is dwelling inside such a young, and vibrant singer. Eloquent, melodic, and yet sometimes wonderfully quirky, Melanie captures the essence of fading dreams and vibrant experiences in each of her songs, marrying them to her enthralling melodies.
To date, Melanie has shared the stage with a number of Canadian talents, including Andy Kim, Alan Frew, and Spirit of the West, but it's obvious that the best is yet to come. We sat down with her to chat about her new album, how she got her start, and what kind of influences she's had.
Andrew: What made you decide you had to be a musician and where did you get your start?
Melanie: I've loved music as long as I can remember... Neither of my parents had a musical bone in their bodies, but they always had music on the old stereo. I started dancing before I could walk. I began dance training at age 3, and got my first Fisher Price keyboard around that time too... I actually remember making up songs when I was very young. My parents would buy me those Disney books-on-tape, and I would record my own songs (about my stuffed animals) on Side B. After years of begging, my parents finally broke down and bought a piano for me at age 9, on the condition that I would take lessons.
I had an amazing piano teacher who let me do my own thing. I remember seeing the program for our piano recitals... My name would be listed (as a composer) between Beethoven and Mozart. It was fantastic! (I think I still have them somewhere!) After a few years, my piano teacher sent me off to take lessons from a professional songwriter, because she felt she couldn't help me anymore. I lasted a total of a couple of weeks with the man. We spent those few weeks arguing about song structure. (He felt that songs couldn't deviate from a strict AB AB pattern.) I finally wound up at a music studio (around age 14), and worked with the president of the company for a couple of years, producing my songs.
In high school, I hooked up with a singer, and we started playing out under the name "The Tunnel Theory," in some clubs in St. Catharines, where I grew up. And then after a few years, I worked in another piano-vocal duo, "Moon in Pisces." Academics were important to my family, and I did well in school... so I went to university for my B.A. and then grad school for my Master's in English & Writing. I always tried to balance both music and school. I remember being about halfway through grad school, and being hit hard with the realization that I was meant to pursue music 100%, so I finished my program, and moved to Toronto within two weeks of completing my thesis.
Even though I've always been involved in music, my solo career started only a couple of years ago. But my education, and those years when I was working at more than just music... well, they've given me some important perspective on life... and some good material for my songs!
Andrew: Who has influenced you over the years?
Melanie: I grew up on The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Elton John, Peter Paul & Mary, Petula Clark, Bob Dylan, and bands like The Dave Clark Five. I adore sixties music. In high school, I discovered Hayden and Blind Melon, and my songwriting definitely changed. It's hard to say who influences me... I think, it's more like – who inspires me... because the music I listen to is different from my own. I love Radiohead, Coldplay, Bjork, Ben Folds, Ella Fitzgerald, Blondie, Tony Bennett, Joni Mitchell, Ian Thornley, Jeff Buckley, John Mayer, Beck, Rufus Wainwright, Weezer, and Daniel Johns.
Andrew: What kind of goals and dreams do you have?
Melanie: My musical goals? Well, I want to be a successful songwriter and performer. See the world by playing music. Connect with people. Grow as a writer and artist.
Andrew: As a songwriter, what topics, things or people do you find influence you the most?
Melanie: Dreams, heartbreak (and heartbreakers), hunger, lovers, karma and the cosmos, a word, an expression... To be honest, I'm not really sure how some of my songs came to be. Songs like "Salesman Sanctity," "Elevators & Cherry Pie," or "Cactusman," for example... I've met people who have had better explanations or interpretations for those songs than I do! The only way I can describe it is that the melodies I write seem to speak... and sometimes they speak really weird things... I just go with it.
Check out Melanie Joy's website for more at melaniejoy.com, or head on over to her MySpace. Melanie will also be performing with her band on Wednesday, November 16th at 7:00pm at The Cadillac Lounge (1296 Queen Street West - Toronto) with Gavin Slate. You can also catch her on Saturday, November 26th at 9:00pm at the Renaissance Cafe (1938 Danforth Ave. - Toronto).
Photo copyright (c) Brian Lawrence.
Article copyright (c) W. Andrew Powell, June 2005.
Behind the Bluebirds
[+ Show ]
SPEAK Music firstname.lastname@example.org Bluebird North, www.songwriters.ca BEHIND THE BLUEBIRDS, NORT...SPEAK Music email@example.com
Bluebird North, www.songwriters.ca
BEHIND THE BLUEBIRDS, NORTH OF THE BORDER
-TUESDAY NOVEMBER 30TH AT THE RIVOLI, DOWNTOWN TORONTO, 8PM
For more than six years, the The Songwriters Association of Canada has been featuring Canadian songwriting talent with the series known as Bluebird North. Following the example of Nashville's Bluebird Cafe, Bluebird North showcases exceptional songwriters up close and personal. The next installment features Alan Frew, Andy Kim, Amer Diab, Helen Kim, Melanie Joy, Keri Steele and will be hosted by Juno Award-winning country star Charlie Major. Songs and stories will play out at the Rivoli (334 Queen Street West) on Tuesday November 30th, starting at 8pm. (doors open 7:30 pm.)
Five-time Juno award winner, Grammy nominee and twenty-year veteran of the Canadian Music Industry, Alan Frew is the voice of the internationally renowned group GLASS TIGER and has sold over 3,000,000 albums worldwide. He has written numerous top ten hits reaching the distinction of the chart topping #1 position. "Someday", "So Blind" , "I’m Still Searching" and "Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)", have all reached this plateau, and he is the recipient now of four Canadian Classic Awards. He can be seen on MEN TV where he stars in a weekly television show called "Road Stories with Alan Frew". The show is a thought-provoking musical journey into the lives and songs of some of music’s most interesting performers.
Such songs as "Rock Me Gently", "Baby I Love You", "How'd We Ever Get This Way" and "Sugar, Sugar" sold more than 30 million records and earned Andy Kim a place in rock history as writer, producer and/or recording artist. He recently released an exciting new collection of songs produced by Barenaked Ladies' Ed Robertson.
Singer/songwriter Amer Diab plays it straight, favouring a rootsy approach to underscore largely downbeat sentiments. On his debut album, "Year of the Apology", Broken Social Scenesters Brendan Canning (bass and organ) and Andrew Whiteman (lead guitar and organ) collectively help Diab transform alternately into a country-rock Elvis Costello ("Punchdrunk Lover") and a bruised-up Jackson Browne ("The Devil You Know").
Helen Kim is a home-grown Toronto singer-songwriter. She has been actively songwriting and gaining attention through S.A.C. events such as "Date with a Tape". With a smooth and haunting lyrical style, her delivery is soulful, honest and clear. Helen Kim's self-titled album is due to be released early next year.
Pianist and singer-songwriter, Melanie Joy engages listeners with her evocative and melodic songs. She covers a broad spectrum of styles, all combining to create an alternative pop-rock sound. With influences ranging from sixties' songwriters Brian Wilson and Dusty Springfield, to musical theatre great Andrew Lloyd Webber, and modern day Bjork and Radiohead, Melanie weaves her own brand of strong melodies and poetic lyrics. She is currently working on her second solo album with producer Peter Linseman, to be released in early 2005.
Using both a band and samples to make her music, Keri Steele is the lead singer/songwriter and guitarist for Toronto band Hush Hush. Making a splash on Toronto's indie pop scene, they infuse their dreamy songs with lazy melodies, scratchy loops, some buzzing guitar and Keri's dynamic vocals. Now Magazine says "(Steele's) ingenuousness infuses the dreamy pop she creates in Hush Hush and the result is mesmerizingly mellow."
Charlie Major (Host)
Ottawa Valley native Charlie Major has a long list of accomplishments most of us only dream about: he won the Juno Award as Country Male Vocalist of the Year three years in a row, won five major Canadian Country Music Association awards, received songwriting honours from SOCAN, and a BMI Award in 1993 for "Backroads" as the "Most Performed Song in America." There was a double platinum album, a platinum album, and a gold disc. Like all the very best writers, Charlie writes what he knows about, and in recent years he's had the sort of domestic upheavals so many of us experience. The result was his latest album, "Inside Out", on Stony Plain Records. Charlie will host the next installment of Bluebird North, appearing in both sets on Tuesday November 30th.
The Bluebird North series takes place in Toronto at the Rivoli (334 Queen Street West) every other month. The small admission price of $12 ($10 for S.A.C. members with card) is charged to offset production costs and affords the audience the opportunity of hearing both well-known and up-and-coming Canadian talent, in an "unplugged" and intimate setting.
Who: Andy Kim, Amer Diab, Helen Kim, Melanie Joy, Keri Steele, hosted by Charlie Major
What: Bluebird North Showcases
Where: The Rivoli, 334 Queen Street West
When: Tuesday November 30th
Cost: $12 ($10 for S.A.C. members with card)
While a majority of Bluebird North participants are performing songwriters, the focus of the show is on the writer and the song. Only original material is presented and participants are encouraged to talk about their writing process, inspirations, successes/failures, and so on... The evening is divided into two sets, with three featured performers plus host per set. Songs are presented in rotation until each writer has performed three songs.
For more information on the Songwriters Association of Canada, the country's only national voice for the creators of lyrics and melodies, visit: www.songwriters.ca
For more information, photos, interviews, please contact:
Ph: (416) 599.9079
A Body Full
Elevators & Cherry Pie
Girl from the Frying Pan
The Honesty Queen’s Dreamguide
My Swollen Ankle
Not the One
The Tattoo Artist
Waltz of the 30-Something Bachelor
World’s Breaking Through Me
Covers (if applicable to performance; style of covers depend on venue):
3x5 – John Mayer
Across the Universe – The Beatles
Ahead by a Century – Tragically Hip
Beetlebum - Blur
Best I Ever Had – Vertical Horizon
Bewitched – Ella Fitzgerald
Both Sides Now – Joni Mitchell
Don’t Know Why – Norah Jones
Forever in Blue Jeans – Neil Diamond
Goodbye to You – Michelle Branch
Here with Me - Dido
In Bloom - Nirvana
In My Place - Coldplay
Into the Fire – Bryan Adams
Karma Police - Radiohead
Killing Me Softly – Roberta Flack
Leaving on a Jet Plane – John Denver
Mad World – Tears for Fears
No Surprises – Radiohead
Norwegian Wood – The Beatles
On My Own – Les Miserables
Rocket Man – Elton John
Say It Ain’t So - Weezer
Smells like Teen Spirit - Nirvana
Smile – Tony Bennett
Son of a Preacher Man –Dusty Springfield
Sweet Surrender – Sarah McLaughlin
The Middle – Jimmy Eat World
Time after Time – Cyndi Lauper
Trouble – Coldplay
When Will I Be Loved – Everly Brothers
When You Wish Upon a Star – Disney
White Flag - Dido
Who Can I Turn To – Tony Bennett
Wild Horses – Rolling Stones
Your Song – Elton John
Yes It Is – The Beatles
There are no upcoming dates at this time.