Melanie Peterson – Album Review of “Anywhere From Here” & Interview
by Makeda Taylor on July 15, 2016
“Anywhere From Here” is Melanie Peterson’s sophomore album release. The album was produced by Mitchell Girio and features Peter Collins on bass/keys and backing vocals and Peter Lambert on drums, violin and backing vocals. Melanie was the principal singer-songwriter, with some co-writes. Vocally she delivers a strong performance. The songwriting is good to form, however, Melanie is a factual type of storyteller and could benefit by being more abstract in interpreting real life situations. Production on the project is excellent and instrumentation strong. All in all a very strong effort for a sophomore release. The title “anywhere from here” is exactly the potential Melanie as a gifted artist has the ability to realize, she is unstoppable. Rating 3.7 out of 5 stars.
What does the title of the album “Anywhere from Here” mean to you?
It represents my point of view at the time of writing these songs, making the album, and even now. I’ve got all my past garbage and self doubt sorted out- the kind that keeps you down and holds you back, and from this place of feeling worthy of love, happiness and success, I can get anywhere. It’s also a lyric from the final song on the album “A Gift”.
You spent 2 years working on this album, how was this process different from your first album release?
I was a litter looser, vocally, in the studio. A little more confident in my own voice, having already released an album that people enjoyed, and having worked with Mitch Girio before, I had a better idea of what was going to happen in the studio and less reason to be nervous and tighten up.
3 of the songs were co-writes on this album, a first for me, and I was surprised at how much fun it was, and how easy it is to collaborate on song ideas, when you are writing with talented people (Neil Murchison and Mitch Girio).
As an artist it is easy to be super self-critical about letting go of your baby and releasing it to the world…. Were you ready for the release of this album?
I was more than ready for the release of this album. I’d been carrying these new songs way past term, some of them being written while we were recording my debut album Unbreakable. In fact, I’d been promising friends and fans new music for over a year, so really, this baby was overdue and therefore easy and necessary to let go of.
The album does not have a popular top 40 sound, how do you market a project like this to radio?
You mail your CD’s out one at a time to stations who have played your music in the past, college radio, CBC and internet radio stations that you think might be looking for something like what you’ve got and stay as realistic as possible.
How do you go about enlisting music community support? If you perceive this to be of the Folk Genre, how do you get the message out to members of the folk community?
I’m using this album as a promotional tool for industry folk such as artist managers, agents and record labels. Using it to apply to music festivals, song writing competitions and conferences. And to get the message out further, I send it to all folk radio stations, for potential airplay. But as this album has turned out a little more country than anticipated, I’ve got more options in terms of stations and people to approach regarding this new album.
What is the experience of being an indie artist like for you?
It’s a lot of fun and hard work. Fun writing the songs, performing the songs, recording the songs. Making music videos. Hard work booking the shows, promoting the shows, promoting the album, inquiring about radio play, festival gigs, promoting the videos, looking for licensing opportunities and doing the marketing part, the part that does not come naturally to many artists. Luckily, I’ve started to build a team around me, people who are helping to take a few things off my plate, leaving me with more time for my creativity.
You have done very well on the social media front, how do you envision getting more people to listen to or purchase your music? Do you believe that the album as we know it is just a calling card?
It seems to work like this for me: folks hear something from me, for free, on line, want to come out and see and show, and then, more often than not, they will pick up a CD to take home. A licensing opportunity (to get a song in a commercial, TV show or film) would probably the best way, at this point, to get more people to know about my music and purchase it on line. I believe this new album, is a calling card for industry folks as well as something I can sign for fans after a performance, that they can take home and listen to and enjoy when the mood strikes them.
Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions …do you have any final thoughts?
Over the past few years I’ve learned so much about songwriting and the business of being a singer-songwriter and honestly, I know I haven’t even learned HALF of what I will learn. I’m looking forward to that, and enjoying the process along the way. Celebrating the wins, like this opportunity to talk to you, and nursing the wounds of rejection, from time to time, as needed.