Montreal singer/songwriter Mel Yelle seems to be finding great solace in her ’80s pop alter ego, Melotika. Unlike the acoustic confessionals crafted under M. Yelle, as Motika she serves up electronic indie disco sounds complete with unabashed performance art sets that land somewhere a million miles from the earnest ground upon which she started. It’s one of the boldest musical rebirths of recent times, and it’s seemingly paying dividends.

Yelle has seemingly never followed the “rules” of the music industry. She has been crafting music since a young age, initially finding it difficult to break into the well-connected boys club of a Montreal scene that was thriving at the time. She found her way in through the innovative sideways trajectory of sound design classes, becoming skilled in the art of independent production. Handling her social media, bookings and taking charge of her increasingly visually colorful shows, Melotika has meticulously crafted a considerable artistic rise. And extra props for the vintage metal shirts, of course.

This innovation extends to her videos, such as my current favorite: “Don’t Believe (You Speak)”. With its bold cutaways, this is a hyper-charged short film that is about as close as any visual artist has ever come to capturing the phoenix-like feeling of finally, mercifully, emerging from the dark labyrinth of a bad relationship into the rarefied air of freedom. Here is to the continued rise of this innovative and endlessly colorful avatar.



Tina Romano