Here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today, we’ve been listening to the latest single from Melyssa Lee. Last Words (the acoustic version), was released in March 10th, 2023.
Last Words, explains Calgary (Canada) artist, Lee, is “written like an old western desert noir story. It is a universal reflection on what our previous interactions were with a loved one when we didn’t know at the time that they would be the last.” It is a haunting and evocative song that truly pulls at the heartstrings. “Even angels need to say their last goodbyes.”
The acoustic version of Last words is a simple production with strummed acoustic guitar, incidental electric guitar, vocals and the occasional harmony vocals. Starting with strummed acoustic, the electric guitar joins the mix and creates a solo line which is repeated several times throughout the song. The solo guitar has a country music feel to it. It is twangy, with chorus and perfectly dialled in reverb to make it dreamy and floaty. It doesn’t need to be any more complicated than it is.
The feature of this track is Melyssa’s stunning vocal ability. The voice is clear, and every word is discernible as she takes the listener on a journey of self-reflection. At times, her voice had a touch of Thea Gilmore or Avril Lavigne. We even caught the occasional Dolly Parton-like vibrato, as well as a few hints of KT Tunstall. All of these are huge names and impressive vocalists. Lee takes all of these influences and styles and makes her own style, which is utterly endearing.
We especially liked the use of occasional harmony vocals. These are used mostly in the choruses, but just occasionally, there is a verse line which adds in a perfectly placed harmony which grabbed our attention.
Last Words makes superb use of rise and fall, creating a dynamic soundscape for the listener. We can imagine this song being well received as a simple guitar and vocal track in a live setting. The simple production and minimal instrumentation keep the song charming and likeable.
Ideas from our ears
A little extra warmth could be achieved with a low shelf boost set around 150Hz. A couple of cuts in the vocal track at around 200Hz and 400Hz would reduce some occasional ‘boomy’ and boxy’ tones. The acoustic guitar could use a cut around 260Hz to reduce a slight peak there. A small but wide boost centred around 4kHz could enhance the presence and definition in the overall track too. As always, these are just some ideas from our ears.
Melyssa Lee has created an intimate, emotive and warm singer-songwriter track with her latest single, Last Words. We’re very much looking forward to hearing more from this talented Canadian songwriter. Highly recommended.