Morr 162 / GER / 2019
Sylva is the result of one of the most productive periods in Meluch’s life. During a 9-month hiatus from his day job he embarked on daily recording sessions amid trips to the American southwest, Montana, Hawai’i and his native Michigan. Back home in Seattle, he developed his recordings and wrote the album’s two mesmerizing vocal tracks, which call to mind early Fleetwood Mac or peak pop-era Brian Eno. “Keep” is based on a tiny flower called Draba mentioned in the book A Sand County Almanac, about which “no one ever wrote a poem”; considering all the little plants he had inadvertently crushed throughout a lifetime of hikes, he wrote it for them. The piano-driven “Meristem” features a striking violin contribution from Freya Creech (London, UK), and is dedicated to Meluch’s brother, who died suddenly two years ago. Sylva’s other collaboration is the soaring vocal arrangement created for “Raze II” by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer/singer Caroline Shaw (New York, USA), a former touring mate who resided at the Banff Centre (Alberta, CAN) during the same period in which Meluch completed his recordings there.