Oakland CA – January 22 2014 – Gray Hoodie is the debut album from french musician / composer Elise Mélinand. The album, due out March 4th on n5MD on CD and LP formats, was initially inspired by the techniques she was exposed to after being recruited as part of Christina Vantzou’s (Kranky / The Dead Texan) Little Prism Ensemble.
Her newly adapted recording and composition tool, the laptop, is undeniably the norm today. However, it allowed Mélinand to better visualize her compositions while experimenting with techniques that Gray Hoodie so skillfully showcases. Crafted by Mélinand to tell a story of a friend who gave her a gray hoodie one cold evening.
This gray hoodie was a symbol of their friendship and this album is said by Mélinand to be “A way to thank him for everything he gave me”. Gray Hoodie showcases Mélinand’s childlike voice and legato string work juxtaposed over frenetic experimental beat-work all injected into ten cinematic vignettes that exude the comfort and warmth of a sweatshirt on a cold day.
Elise Mélinand is a singer-songwriter / composer from Paris, France. The combination of her soft, childlike vocals provide a stark juxtaposition to her sometimes frenetic yet widescreen vignettes.
Mélinand originally studied cello at the conservatory until she realized that she much preferred working on more personal musical ideas. Quitting her studies she immediately starts to experiment, via a tape recorder, with any instruments or household implements she could get her hands on.
At 19, Mélinand travels through Eastern and Northern Europe. These travels prove to be intensely inspirational. Shortly after, she relocates to Berlin, and purchases her first guitar and begins to write songs. There she meets Florian Frenzel, a post-pop-punk musician with whom she records her debut EP Le voyage utilizing a collection of old analogue equipment, including an old reel-to-reel from the former East Berlin radio Rundfunk der DDR.
In 2012, Mélinand ends up meeting artist/composer Christina Vantzou who recruits her to play in her Little Prism Ensemble from whom they share bills with Nils Frahm, Johan Johansson & Max Richter. This whole new world of music gives her such deep inspiration that she starts working on sketches that will later become her debut album.
Mélinand then heads back to France and purchases herself the equipment to write music in the comfort of her home. This period is also where she transitioned from her day to day composition tool of guitar to a computer. She eventually meets the electronic musician Franck Zaragoza (Ocoeur, n5MD) who then becomes a strong musical influence.