Track Premiere: Melis – ‘Apex’

‘Apex’, the lead single and title track of her brand new EP is Melis’ take on internet culture and the anxieties it triggers in many of us including the singer and songwriter herself. Lyrically, the Prague-native explores our collective addiction to the blue light, a.k.a. the phone screen and highlights the darkest sides of using social media. The now Berlin-based artist has written and produced ‘Apex’ along with her collaborator YASHA. Together, they recorded all of the instrumentation from Melis’ bedroom. Melis explains: “I wanted ‘Apex’ to be mellow yet euphoric, sad and uplifting at the same time. The song is about my anger and frustrations with social media & technology, “fake news”, capitalism and the music business – to list a few things. Which, of course, is hypocritical, as I am actively participating in those structures on some level. But I think we – as a society – are collectively becoming more aware and conscious of the fact that everything we’ve previously been lead to believe to be success, progress or improvement is actually bullshit.”

Every track on Apex sounds like an episode of Black Mirror. On the EP, Melis explores topics of loneliness and social anxiety, body image issues, online- dating and our collective addiction to social media – all set against the backdrop of our own black mirror, the phone screen.

Melis has written and produced the five brand new tracks together with her collaborator Jachym Kovar (JayRo, YASHA) in Berlin. Apex is a body of work which feels as if a big, warm weighted blanket has just been wrapped around your head. It is a well-rounded, smooth listen from start to finish.

The first thing that immediately stands out on each track is Melis’ signature angelic vocals, which have a certain 90’s vibe to them. Her singing feels both vulnerable and powerful and blends in seamlessly with the lo-fi and R’n’B rooted production elements. The production mainly consists of a blend of over-compressed drum beats, reminiscent of those on Steve Lacy’s Demo – which were “made mostly with Logic Pro’s intuitive drummer, and also by sampling the dishwasher” Melis confesses – and analog synths, as her incredibly captivating, mellow, soft vocals compliment the productions on each track perfectly, and vice versa.

With each new song on this release, it feels like we get to know Melis more up-close and personal than we did on any of her previous work. With her bittersweet lyrics and dreamy melodies, there’s definitely a beating heart behind each word and with every listen, it becomes more and more obvious that the music comes from a very personal and honest place. On Apex, Melis delivers philosophical lyricism and playfully crafted lo-fi bedroom pop vibes.

Apex is out now. Stream here:

Apple Music
Photos/EP Artwork by Jan Valis