• Bryon Harris

Mel Stirling - 'Standing to Fall'

Review by Sylvie Marie & Staff

Los Angeles-based Australian artist Mel Stirling is hitting the alt-rock music scene full force as a solo act. Previously, she performed in various alternative bands and supported well-known Australian acts such as The Radiators, Killing Heidi, Grinspoon and The Butterfly Effect. Stirling is known for her striking cut-through vocals. Her songs combine haunting lyrics, a somber sound, and memorable, catchy hooks. The title track off her debut EP, Standing to Fall, captures this duality with a melancholy story wrapped in an engaging and edgy performance that includes a highly memorable chorus.

The introduction to "Standing to Fall" starts with a few hard drum hits followed by a haunting legato cello line and light strumming guitar. Over this foreboding landscape, small ripples of wavy, single electric guitar chords are strummed in anticipation of the beat adding to the anticipation.

Mel enters the first verse singling, "All ya see is a silhouette of reality / What you thought was real." Mel's alt-rock vocals are striking. She draws you in with an inner intensity that keeps your ears locked in. As the song progresses, her vocal performance adds more grit, holding back in the verses, until she hits the chorus with a full rock sound, more open, and filled with expression..

The arrangement builds towards the chorus by gradually raising the song's dynamic level and adding layers of texture with guitar fills, a melodic piano, and deep bass. The sound fully blooms into the memorable angst-ridden rock hook.

"Building something out of nothing All this bleeding, nothing to show for it Building something out of nothing All you needed was just another chance."

"Standing to Fall" explores the concept of resiliency. The song's meaning is up for interpretation as every listener will visualize a different story. The line "building something out of nothing" reminds this writer of starting over after a painful fall where you are left with nothing to show after a hurtful relationship.

In "Standing to Fall", Mel Stirling captures the story's emotion with a full range of vocal expression from intense and gritty to bold and passionate. Set against a very well-conceived arrangement, the instrumentation and production are ever-engaging.

Standing to Fall is available on all digital platforms. CDs are available for purchase on Amazon. For more information, please visit Mel Stirling's website.


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