Melody Gardot – Sunset in the Blue
Sunset in the Blue is the fifth studio album from Melody Gardot. The American jazz singer used music as a way to heal after a bike accident when she was 19 left her with terrible injuries to her spine and head. She struggled with hypersensitivity to light and sound, and with her perception of time. Due to her delicate hearing, she chose quieter music, like bossa nova by Stan Getz, to aid her recovery. Five years on from the accident, she released her debut album, Worrisome Heart, to huge commercial and critical success.
Gardot has lived in Paris since 2017 and recorded this album there during lockdown. She invited artists from around the world, who may have been struggling to find work in the unprecedented times, to collaborate. Many of the tracks on this album were recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, which leads to an accomplished and satisfying depth of sound. A duet with Sting, Little Something, preceded this release, although it is not included in the album.
The album is a slow, sultry slice of slink – it could not sound more steeped in Parisian atmosphere if it tried. The orchestra lends a swooning beauty to the accompaniments, with shimmering drums and woozy guitar; Gardot’s voice is restrained and beguiling. The album has bossa nova inflections throughout, more about mood than tunes, with melodies that are very subtle and often similar to one another.
The title track is delicately melancholic, with a chorus about when “a dream begins to fray.” Following it are two outright bossa nova tracks, which Gardot sings in perfect Portuguese. Um Beijo (A Kiss) uses the complex drum patterns of the genre, as does Ninguem, Ninguem (No One, No One), which has fluttering, detailed percussion and charismatic vocals. Both tracks are highlights. Ave Maria sounds like soft summer rain as she wishes to “drink to life as if there is no end.”
Gardot’s lyrics are beautiful, elevating the tracks , especially in That’s Where He Lives in Me: “it seems that my love is a weaver of all my most intimate dreams / …. she takes off her white dress just to pass you her beauty / … there, where all our tears are just from laughter.”
It’s lovely, unchallenging fare. The tunes are subtle but the lyrics and mood are very atmospheric, a beguiling transportation to fleeting moments played out in a Parisian café.
Photo: Isabel Marant
Sunset in the Blue is released on 23rd October 2020. For further information or to order the album visit Melody Gardot’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Sunset in the Blue here: