As seen in Guitar Girl Magazine Issue 7
Canadian folk artist Melanie Brulée performs in both French and English and describes her latest album Fires, Floods & Things We Leave Behind as “spaghetti-western-Tarantino vibe with plenty of tasty guitar tones and pedal steel.” Brulée has been very busy touring the US and Canada and organizing for a charitable cause that is close to her heart. Read more about Melanie from our interview with her about her musical influences, her album, her inspiration coming from friends and family struggling with addiction, and her plans for 2019.
Originally from Canada, you have lived in Australia and France. How has living in these different countries influenced your music?
I think I definitely picked up the surf influence in my music while living in Australia. There’s also a really great folk-roots scene there that surely informed my sound. I cut my teeth busking on the streets of Byron Bay, that’s definitely where I learned to command my space onstage, whatever form that may take, whether I’m playing a house concert or a festival it’s always my mission to bring the listener into my world. I lived in France during my “folk-cabaret” days and I guess that’s where I learned to blur the line between audience and performer. I just loved the energy that was created when entire rooms would sing along so I wanted to include that as part of my live show.
I had the good fortune of seeing you perform at AMERICANAFEST® in September at a music event sponsored by the Folk International Alliance called “Finest Folk: A Celebration of Women in Music.” What a great showcase dedicated to female artists.
Thanks, that was a really fun showcase. I met some great performers that night. I particularly enjoyed meeting Mary Bragg. She and I connected for the first time that night, and I hope to write with her at some point in the future.
Your third album Fires, Floods & Things We Leave Behind was released last fall which explored themes of family, addiction and loss. Tell us a little more about this album.
I started writing songs for the album while on a road trip across the USA, a bunch of friends (songwriters and photographers) drove along Route 66 from Nashville to Las Vegas. The trip came at the perfect time for me as I was in a writer’s block that quickly subsided mere hours after hitting the road. I found myself fascinated by ghost towns in Texas and New Mexico and began writing “Pretty Wasteland” when I got home. Just when I was struggling with the second verse, a dear friend of mine who had been struggling with addiction called me to tell me he had been sober for three weeks. This inspired the rest of the tune and eventually the entire album. I started noticing how many of my loved ones had chosen sobriety and I found it incredibly brave and commendable. Addiction is something my father struggled with during his life, so it really hit home for me. I decided the album should be dedicated to anyone who is trying to better themselves as well as those loved ones around them. Mental health and addiction affect everyone, so I want to continue open conversations about these subjects and take the taboo out of talking about it. This is my way of trying to help.
We caught you while you’re busy performing at APAP 2019, but can you tell us what have planned for 2019?
Lots of touring planned for 2019. We’re going to be around the East Coast of the USA a fair bit, every few months, as well as some shows in Canada. I’ve paired up with the Canadian Mental Health Association near my hometown of Cornwall Ontario (Canada), so I’m hoping to organize a few music-based fundraising events to help bolster awareness for all the hard work they do in the community.