Melissa James’ beautiful debut album, Day Dawns, is like a simmering pot of Jazz, Blues and comforting Soul music. This songbird may hail from London, but her album echoes a laid back, southern Memphis style.
Day Dawns starts off on a positive, strong vibe with ‘Don’t You Keep Yourself Down’ and ‘Little Caged Bird’ a metaphorical tale of a bird realising its dreams, before fading into songs of reflection, love lost and yearning for its return then finally overcoming it all to bring the album back full circle.
“My scars will stay with me, they’re proof of what I’ve learned…” Melissa sings on ‘Long Road Travelled’ and if you listen to only one song on Day Dawns, this one will sum up the whole album. It’s almost as if the album is autobiographical with some song so raw and deep with emotion they’d make the listener cry, ‘I Miss You’ is one such song. Talking about the creation of the song ‘I Miss You’ Melissa says “I wrote it late at night and the lyrics, melody and some of the harmony ideas came quickly. It felt like this song had been waiting to be born…I knew it was special.”
Other songs to look out for on the album are ‘Sing’ a lively duet with Kevin Leo and the two Bossa style tracks ‘Do You Remember When’ – reminiscing about a past relationship, whilst ‘I Get Along Without You Very Well’ although a remake seems to close the chapter of that particular relationship.
This is a bold and gutsy debut by Melissa and I’m eager to hear what she has coming next. You can catch her live in April 2013 at the Green Note, London see her website for more details.