Friday, June 14, 2013

melville's upcoming 'maquette' is ready for release

Melville—Photo by Hanmi Hubbard Meyer
Ryan T. Jacobs' Melville is gearing up.

And although his new six-song EP, Maquette, doesn't officially come out until September 14th, the bandleader isn't simply sitting on the record until then. Rather, he's preparing himself and his band for a series of gigs that span the state at the end of the month.

In fact, it seems like Jacobs is constantly in a state of preparation. That and change. After almost three years in Portland, Jacobs, a Southern Oregon native, has been battling to get his music out into the world as he's dealt with a rotating cast of players while writing and recording new material as well as learning the local music scene, like how to get booked at respected venues like the Doug Fir and Mississippi Studios or how to get his music on the radio. (Melville's been featured on both KZME and KINK.)

But, the product of this process is a second EP under the Melville name, and the first single, "Forked Tongue," drops today.

A "caustic" rocker "about some of the unconscionable things people say or do to get ahead in any respective area (career, personal lives, etc.)," the track is anchored, as always, by Jacobs' genuine, emotive vocals. "They don't worry about what effects it may have on people they're involved with as long as they're able to, however incrementally, 'get ahead,'" Jacobs continues. "It's essentially just a roundabout way of calling those kind of people snakes. We all know those kinds of people and we all dislike them, yet they still somehow exist, and in certain unfortunate cases, even thrive."

Jacobs himself has been on a path of steady growth, one that's been more constructive and organic than the one he describes. Much like The Beatles who played the clubs of Hamburg to cut their chops, Jacobs spent four years in Berlin honing his songwriting craft and moving up in the world, from performing solo on street corners to selling out legitimate venues. Releasing his debut EP, The Places You Might Have Gone, in April 2009, Jacobs returned home to Oregon in 2011 but settled in Portland (rather than his hometown of Grants Pass). Deciding it was time to plant some roots and put together a band that could flesh out his songs, he started calling his project Melville and introduced this act at the LaurelThirst Pub in June 2011.

Of the six tracks on Maquette, a few are revisions of songs that appeared on Melville's debut EP, Erstwhile, but Jacobs says that the band, which currently features Tim Skerpon on drums, Thomas Yates on bass, and Jim Meyer on keys, "was integral in shaping how the songs sound on the record and how we interpret them live."

Read the rest on OMN.

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