The Meltdown. It’s a bold, brassy, twangy steam train of bumping backbeats and swinging shuffles. Then there’s that voice. Sweet as honey. The voice is soul, but it’s country too and something else indefinable; like you heard it before but don’t know where… Introducing Better Days, The Meltdown’s first release on HopeStreet Recordings.
There’s a fair chance you haven’t heard that voice before, because for the last few years Simon Burke has been flying small planes out of small airfields in the dusty backcountry and taking refuge from the hustle and grind of the music business to raise a young family. The time off has been fruitful. A lifetime of writing and experience is condensed into a golden set of songs and a killer new band, The Meltdown, which Simon formed in collaboration with saxophonist and arranger Lachlan McLean. Great vibe, great players, great sound, but it’s the songs that are king here.
There are a lot of soul revival bands around, but the Meltdown’s angle is different – Simon and Lachlan are both pretty country and The Meltdown has more than a bit of that Ray Charles country via gospel thing, and a taste of dirty blues in it too. Echoes of towns like Euroa and Avenel, where the boys blew in from, or just artistic license? Either way, if there’s one thing that soul and country can both do for you, it’s songs about heartbreak, so here’s some rippers. Ladies and gentlemen, let us introduce to you the inimitable voice and songwriting of Mr Simon Burke. And yes, in advance, you’re welcome.