Melotheory Delves into their Indie-Pop Sound Amid Release of Debut Single “Breathe”

Melotheory Delves into their Indie-Pop Sound Amid Release of Debut Single “Breathe”: + Read our Interview with Melotheory Below

March 3, 2024 in Features

by Matty G

Last weekend, local band Melotheory took to the stage at Taos and captivated the audience with their groovy and introspective indie-pop sound. They have a lot to look forward to, including the reception of their debut single “Breathe,” and the release of their album in April. I spoke with bandmates Patrick Insull and Austin McGinnis about these events, and we also took it back and discussed their roots and process of music-making.

Read the interview below.

How did you guys feel about your performance at Taos?

Austin: I felt pretty good about it. I mean, every time we go up there, we get more and more comfortable on stage. There were a couple of little technical pickups on a new song we tried out … but there’s a lot of trial and error sometimes.

Patrick: That was the first time we had ever played at a Co-Op, so that was a really great experience, especially down in the basement house. I feel like that’s a pretty quintessential Co-Op experience right there. And, I mean, a performance at the end of the day is really a call and response with the performers and the audience. When you have that level of engagement … where people were really close to the stage, dancing, grooving, and really responding to the music … that’s really why I get on the stage, to connect with the audience.

Photo by DJ Nour (@capturedbydina)

Photo by DJ Nour (@capturedbydina)

Now we’re gonna take it back… how did Melotheory form? What are your origins?

Patrick: We met halfway through junior year … The first time we met, we just kind of missed each other. It was at a party – we were like, “Oh, hey, how’s it going?” “Okay, see ya.” Then, within a couple of weeks, we were just like, “Hey, just come over, let's hang out.” [We] hadn’t even talked about music … but the next few times we hung out, we had just kind of established that both of us were kind of dabbling in music. At the time, I was living in the basement at Andrews and my happy place was writing songs in the stairwell there because the acoustics were so good … I had just written a song, and I had never played it for anybody – all the songs that I’d written there, I never intended to play with anybody, but, I don’t know, I was just like, “Hey, Austin. I think this is a cool song, here you go.” That’s the song that’s coming out on Friday, it’s called “Breathe” … and then, within a month, it had turned from that one song into “We need to make a whole album. Let’s just go make a whole album together.”

Do you plan on diving deeper into any of those genres you listed?

Austin: We want to make a dance EP or album at some point in the future. For that, we’d draw on disco and go into EDM; just think, “What music do people like to dance to?”

Patrick: I think for this album and for the next album, the way that Austin and I write music is: we write in individually and [see if it] passes the “singer-songwriter vibe check,” and then we translate that into what Austin was mentioning before – something that you’d hear on the radio, something that’s very accessible to the masses.


Photo by DJ Nour (@capturedbydina)

Who are your influences?

Austin: For me, Daft Punk is huge. Tame Impala … He got started just making music in a home studio and was able to do high-quality stuff that was super inspiring. Coldplay, like their atmospheric rock, and I don’t know if Patrick even consciously is aware of how much his chord progressions sound like a lot of early Coldplay.

Patrick: I, like Austin said, definitely grew up on a lot of early Coldplay. I also think my love for sad boy rock came a lot, like Andrew McMahon In the Wilderness’ first album – really ate that one up. Funnily enough, though, I really started writing because … I didn’t really like learning other people’s songs and I also couldn’t always sing them, so I thought, I might as well just write my own, so I know for a fact I can play them and sing them.

If you could be reincarnated into any artist, dead or alive, who would it be?

Austin: I think one of the Daft Punk guys, probably Thomas.

Patrick: Who’s the guy, uh… Debussy? The guy who makes Clair de Lune? … Like the 1700s; those sorts of concerts were raves. People would absolutely lose it during that time, and I think it would be so funny.


Photo by DJ Tugboat

What is one thing you love about being an up-and-coming band, particularly within the vibrant Austin music scene?

Patrick: The Austin music scene is very much a double-edged sword because it’s very oversaturated with artists, but the scaffolding is so in place and the runway is so in place where, if you do get any sort of traction, you can take off really quickly … We love to make music first and foremost and then, just those moments that we have with people … seeing their faces light up when we’re performing or coming up after the show and saying, “Hey, y’all are special. Like, y’all are unique” … That’s just so special to us.

Austin: Austin is just a tough one because, yeah, it’s super saturated with artists. That just means that all the resources are here. But everyone else is trying to vie for those resources. But yeah, I’d be very proud to be a successful artist, nationally or internationally, from Austin.

What would you say is the most gratifying thing about performing live for an audience?

Patrick: In the whole process of being an artist, I really love writing, and then I really love performing, because I think both of those moments encapsulate the ultimate form of creative and emotional expression … Even, you know, people are starting to really know the words and sing them back to me. That is an incredible feeling that I haven’t found anywhere else.

Your debut single, “Breathe,” is coming out on Friday, March 1st. What can people expect from it?

Patrick: We chose it for our first single for a reason; I think it shows off a lot of our strengths … the base is 100% singer-songwriter, but then we’ve just imbued a lot of synth influences that you’ll hear in the rest of the album. I honestly think it shows off so much of the production and mixing that mainly Austin has learned since we started this project … the song sounds like what I have always known that it could sound like in my head that I could never put into words.

Austin: I hope it comes across that it is a singer-songwriter song, but if the singer-songwriter song is a really cool sketch. I hope the full production feels like a colored-in painting of that idea and that feeling.

Can you expand a bit on that production process?

Austin: Graduating from the school of YouTube, learning the advanced, really professional ways of going about things… that’s been – quite a process. It’s meeting those top-notch engineers and producers and trying to get their feedback.

Patrick: It’s something that sounds really good to us when we’re listening to the speakers in our apartment – it just doesn’t connect, especially with so many people listening to music through their headphones or, more often than not, through their phone speakers. Part of the whole trial and error is, how do we thread that needle to where people can enjoy our music on any speaker?

Austin: I try to reward the second, third, fourth listener, or the listener that’s listening repeatedly … I try to make sure that there’s a little something new for them each time when I’m producing.

Where can people expect to see you next? When’s your next show?

Patrick: The one I think is very accessible to UT students … we got the really exciting news this past weekend that we are a part of the Battle of the Bands finalists … that would just be an amazing platform to really connect with the student body and just pop out on the scene.

Melotheory will be performing at the WCP Ballroom on Wednesday, March 6th.

Check out Melotheory here!

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