Every once in a while, you’ll hear an album that instantly gets under your skin. Melodic Canvas’ self-titled debut EP is one such an album. Falling in line with musician Evan Alderton’s origin of Michigan, Melodic Canvas evokes times of biting cold, frosty greenery and breath that hangs in the air.
From sorrow to fear, this five-track album explores all of the hard-to-swallow emotions that sometimes swirl around inside our heads— but also, ones which are a fundamental part of everyone’s life.
And while it seems to lack that high production value polish that comes along with some of the more established artists, that’s also why everything feels so honest and raw here. One may be surprised of just how beautifully Melodic Canvas’ material translates with its minimalist approach of an acoustic guitar accompanied by the emotive vocals of Alderton– rounded out with just a dash of the harmonica and drums for effect.
The opening track Trial of Time is perhaps the most accessible song on the album. It’s catchy and melodic, yet it still retains a pensive, almost bluesy, feel throughout.
Wander the Woods harbors a more eerie sound. The song begins with a darkly somber melody carried by Alderton’s soulful croon before it becomes a shapeshifter of a song, taking listeners on a journey through the still and beautiful forest its title calls to mind.
The third track Rotten Hands is spine-chillingly haunting, and Alderton’s vocals here are lonely and sad while the instrumentals throughout most of the track are delicate but effective. Bleeding is brought to life by some gorgeous acoustic guitar work paired with an emotional melody. About halfway through the track, Alderton’s vocals crack through their usual hush giving way to a much harsher sound before fading away softly into the background once again.
The final track, Empathetic Rain, rails against the minor scales featured throughout the rest of the album, opting instead for a much more optimistic tone. It seems to push the idea that life, and the album as a whole, are not as dreary as they sometimes seem, while still maintaining a realistically bitter edge.
Demonstrating a fusion of alternative rock, indie, along with shades of folk– each section of this album flows seamlessly into the next, and it never feels like influences are being meshed together just for the sake of doing so.