Lock And Key

Amana Melome

Independent release, 2014


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Amana Melome has enjoyed quite the life residing around the globe. Though she now resides in Stockholm, the songstress was born in Germany and her formative years were spent in both Italy and the United States (New York and Los Angeles). Growing up in a musical family, her grandfather – a jazz bassist for Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, and Miles Davis – helped instill the jazz sensibilities into her intimate and poetic art.

The title track “Lock And Key” leads with an '80s synth meets modern R&B angle, where Melome's vocals are firm and smooth. Occasional video game noises are used throughout, and the spacey and dance atmosphere keep it difficult to classify but easy to enjoy. “One By Blood” then takes a sharp turn into a haunting, slow-burning, sleek pop tune with a rich cinematic quality. “Save My Soul Tonight” starts off whispery and playful, before building into a piano and horn-laden anthem that's soulful and jazz influence. “If And When” is a mysterious, quirky song that features a memorable chorus, and it just might be the best moment on the EP. 

“Icarus,” which is mostly a cappella, finishes the listen and comes with muffled trumpets in the background (and occasionally foreground). However, the main attraction here is Melome's outstanding vocals, which makes us realize that she could probably abandon instruments altogether and just rely on her pipes alone to keep us interested.

Melome took help from Itai Shapira and Adam Berg, who are both members of The Decoders, to flesh out these five songs. While they are all primarily jazz at their core, Melome's soul, folk, and R&B touches are applied with the utmost grace and sophistication and yield timeless results. It's no surprise that Whole Foods selected Amana Melome as one of the first artists they distributed, as her organic and lush sounds run parallel with the supermarket's vision.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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