Melissa Laveaux
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Melissa Laveaux


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Dying Is A Wild Night, 2013
Camphor and Copper, 2008



Mélissa Laveaux / Dying Is A Wild Night

A sweet revolution. Mélissa Laveaux reinvented herself 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.

It’s a life reinvented. Mélissa Laveaux grew up in Ottawa (Ontario) but was born to Haitian parents in 1985 in Montreal. In the wake of her first album, she moved to France. A delicate stage of her life that set the background for the lyrics on “Dying Is A Wild Night.” Its intimate writing is drawn from her difficult first few years in Europe. The album title's full verse is “Dying Is A Wild Night And A New Road” and is borrowed from American poet Emily Dickinson. The idea is beautiful and symbolic : cutting ties with her country was both a painful experience and the promise of a new beginning. It was also a bag of contradictions : the further away she fled, the closer she was drawn back to her family. She better understood her parent’s journey as Haitian emigrants, but at the same time her parents were at a loss to understand her departure. This is explained in the first single Postman is about : when she gets to Paris, she has to draw strength elsewhere than from a letter the postman will never deliver.

The beauty and ardor in “Dying Is A Wild Night” stem from the tension between the very personal writing and the impassioned teamwork that went into the music. A first demo was recorded with bandmate and notable jazz drummer Anne Paceo. A recurrent theme on songs baring an often surprising rhythmic foundation (Mélissa has an undying admiration for Wildbirds & Peacedrums, a duo whose music exclusively combines percussions and vocals).

Next came the fascinating in-studio work of a team of musicians/producers The Jazz Bastards : Vincent Taeger (drums,percussions), Vincent Taurelle (keyboards of Air) and Ludovic Bruni Bass, guitars). They reworked some of the tracks, bringing lush sonic textures and bringing a phenomenal rythmic energy to the songs. Here lies a perculiar modernity that willfully echoes the mutant pop of Santigold or Goldfrapp or even the latest developments in Fiona Apple’s career - both demanding and creative in their pop qualities.

Mélissa Laveaux easily admits it : she listens to much more music than she writes. This fills her songs with a thousand different nuances and influences all seamlessly assimilated. The surprising cover of Weezer’s Hash Pipe is clearly the rock highlight of an elegantly eclectic album : soul sung with a velvety voice (Dew Breaker), slender and dynamic little gems (Pretty Girls, Sweet Wood) or pop hits perfectly poised between organic and synthetic sounds (the striking Triggers and Generous Bones). And as if to draw a line between Mélissa’s first album and this one, a marvelous acoustic track, ethereal and swaying, snuck its way at the end of the album : sung in Creole, Pie Bwa is a variation on Billie Holiday’s Strange Fruit, written from the point of view of the blood-stained tree. Powerful imagery on a daring album : modern orchestrations, catchy melodies and intimate prose infused with contemplations on faith, Dying Is A Wild Night is in the veins as some of the best pop records: those that simultaneously touch the heart, the mind and the core.


Executive production and A&R by Laurent Bizot & Thibaut Mullings

All tracks performed by Mélissa Laveaux (guitars, vocals), Ludovic Bruni (guitars, bass), Vincent Taeger (drums, percussions), Vincent Taurelle (keyboards)
+ Thea Hjelmeland (vocals) on 'Move On'

Produced by The Jazz Bastards (Ludovic Bruni, Vincent Taeger and Vincent Taurelle)

Recorded by Vincent Taurelle at studio A.L.B.E.R.T with the help of Louis Berri and Etienne Meunier
Mixed by Bertrand Fresel at Studios Juno except 'Generous Bones' and 'Sweetwood' by Renaud Letang assisted by Thomas Moulin at Studios Ferber
Mastering Adam Ayan - Gateway Mastering

All tracks are written and composed by Mélissa Laveaux
Arranged by Ludovic Bruni, Vincent Taeger, Vincent Taurelle
Published by Nø Førmat!

Written by Mélissa Laveaux
Composed by Melissa Laveaux, Ludovic Bruni, Vincent Taeger, Vincent Taurelle
Published by Nø Førmat!

Written and composed by Rivers Cuomo