Melanie’s debut album Cry Baby, a collection of pop songs that draw inspiration from singer-songwriter folk and hip-hop and follow a character who learns to be more comfortable with who she is. The journey of the character, who Melanie dubbed Cry Baby, mirrors the musician’s own.
The inspiration for Cry Baby struck when Melanie, who hails from Baldwin, NY, became obsessed with vintage toy sounds. The musician began writing songs and playing guitar at 14, combining her loves for poetry and music. She taught herself to play since her parents couldn’t afford to send her to guitar lessons, and was influenced both by her dad’s predilection for old school hip-hop and her own interest in folk songwriters like Regina Spektor and Feist. After appearing on The Voice, Melanie signed with Atlantic and headed into the studio to begin writing songs.
The album, which Melanie created with producers and songwriters like Kinetics & One Love, embraces childlike themes and imagery, connecting each song together like a children’s storybook. But the recent adult experiences in Melanie’s own life, with relationships and heartbreak and self-discovery, are contrasted against these young aesthetics in a deeply interesting way. “Carousel,” which also appeared on last year’s Dollhouse EP and was used to soundtrack a trailer for FX’s American Horror Story: Freak Show, conjures up a carnival to reveal Melanie’s feeling of being stuck in a cyclical relationship.
For Melanie, who hopes to create a live show that reveals the story of Cry Baby visually onstage, music is an artform, one that asks for something more interesting than a simple song. The musician, who has embarked on several headlining tours and recently opened for Lindsey Stirling, looks for ways to make each song different and express as much of herself in it as she can. Her story can become yours.
“I want it to help anybody who felt like they were a cry baby growing up,” Melanie says. “Writing this album made me more comfortable in my own skin. Through the process I accepted myself and who I am. I hope it can do that for someone else when they listen to it.”