Gardot's engaging songs and sultry controlled vocals are provocative and familiar. Melody is cool, sophisticated, inspirational, stylish, articulate and sexy. An impressive introduction to this stunning talent, Worrisome Heart was produced by Gardot with Glenn Barratt and originally released independently in 2006. 10 tracks. Verve Records.
The finest musicians don't always make the most noise. At 22, singer-songwriter Melody Gardot understands the value of subtlety and understatement. It's what helps to make her debut album, `Worrisome Heart', sound simultaneously familiar, yet utterly surprising. For Melody, music is something that helps her relax, meditate, and look inwards. "I gravitate towards soothing music, often genres that are soft and somewhat unassuming. Music can do wonders for your spirit especially when it's the kind that calms you."
Gardot's presence both lyrically and musically lend themselves to someone far beyond her years, yet she had her first introduction to the world of music only a short while ago when she earned some spare cash by playing in piano bars. She was just 16.
"Music wasn't something I thought I'd wind up doing," she admits. "I played on Fridays and Saturdays, for four hours a night. I wasn't your typical player though because I only played music that I liked. A mix of things old and new, I played everything from the Mamas & The Papas to Duke Ellington to Radiohead."
It was only after an automobile accident while riding her bicycle home that the path Gardot has set out on began to change. Struck suddenly by a vehicle, she suffered multiple pelvic fractures, spinal, nerve and head injuries. Several of the effects have left their marks in various ways such as requiring Gardot to carry a cane and sport shaded glasses to combat residual photosensitivity.
Since Gardot had dabbled in music the past, during a follow up visit one day, her doctor suggested she try music therapy as a means for recovery. Specifically, he believed it would help her with her cognitive problems as music has been known to help repair neuropathways in the brain after severe trauma. However, her doctor can't have imagined the far-reaching consequences. While still unable to walk, Melody began writing and recording songs on a portable multitrack recorder at her bedside.
"I started recording the songs as a way to remember what I'd done; I had really bad short-term memory problems," she explains. "At the end of the day I couldn't remember the beginning".
These songs she wrote during her recuperation were released as a six-song EP called Some Lessons: The Bedroom Sessions. After hearing it, one critic commented that it was "a trick of alchemy that awful pain and uncertainty can give rise to such bold and striking music."
Although Melody claims she was never a fanatical music buff with a vast and esoteric record collection, she knows how to get the results she wants with her own songs.
"I had ideas about how I wanted things to go. In the studio cutting `Worrisome Heart', I remember standing in the recording booth and saying to the horn guys `can you make it sleazier?' They said `yeah! Sleazy man, that's cool!' It may not have been the most musical way to put it but they knew exactly what I meant!" she laughs.