The Melody Unit: Kona Song 7″ (The Melody Unit, 2001)

by Brent

The Melody Unit Kona SongI can’t get enough of this group. Maybe it’s the great pop melodies. Maybe it’s the dreamy, blissed- out guitars that embrace so many of their songs. Maybe it’s the almost retro sensibility of this group’s songwriting. Whatever IT is, they have it, and I can honestly say that The Melody Unit are one of my all-time favorite bands (and I’ve only known about them for just over a year).

In summer 2001, I bought Choose Your own Adventure, a cd by this group that had just been released. All I heard were a few songs off of their mp3 site, and I was hooked. That cd is just timeless and perfect. I later picked up their first full-length, Odds Against Tomorrow, and was again impressed by the music. So, after being thoroughly introduced to this band, I decided that I needed to hear their 7″ release which predated choose your own adventure by a couple of months. The 7″ contains alternate versions of two songs (“Kona Song”, “Snoqualmie”) that were later rerecorded for Choose Your Own Adventure.

So, I got my package in the mail, and I must say, The Melody Unit delivered again. “Kona Song”, a song about the beauty of Hawaii (where band members went on a vacation from their home in rainy Seattle). The song features a surfy vibe, with guy/girl vocals over layered guitar lines. I find the 7″ version to be a little more, hmm, gutsy, louder, more spontaneous than the cd version. Think a poppy, somewhat dreamy, happy song about waves and sunshine. The song gets interrupted by a sumptuous “guitar solo” reminiscent of a big Hawaiian wave , full of feedback, effects, and all sorts of crazy sounds. The song then continues on, with its shiny melodies and well crafted vocals. Clearly, the pop side of the melody unit is showcased on this beautiful song.

The Melody Unit is a dream-pop band, and for side B, they display their dreamy side. Jessica (the woman singer) sings sweetly over a cushion of light guitars and keys. She sighs along with the guitars in a marvelous display of dream pop. The songwriting itself is exquisite, and as the song winds down, the group breaks out into an all-out ecstasy of sounds, echoes, and beautiful noise. The melody lingers in my mind all the time.

This record is cheap, high quality, and a good introduction to this group that I keep raving about. If you’re not sure you’ll like them, buy this lp, and listen for yourself. You will NOT be disappointed!

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