“Melissa Giges is already doing what she wants to do—singing the songs she writes . . . deeply personal songs.”
Native New Yorker Melissa Giges (GUY-gus) has already won a loyal following with her mesmerizing performances and strikingly beautiful voice. Now, the singer-songwriter arrives in the national spotlight as one of the exciting new artists on the ECR Music Group roster with the release of her national debut, Evident.
From its opening moments, Evident challenges traditional definitions of the female singer-songwriter album, with cutting-edge organic and electronic elements that underscore the defiance delivered in Giges’ haunting vocals (“Don’t ask why I have got my hat pulled down over my eyes / Don’t ask why I confessed those things to you the other night, ‘Silent I Will Be’”). Almost daring the listener to discover exactly how much she is willing to disclose, Evident unfolds as the refined confession of a powerful woman who is prepared to go as far as her audience can ask (“Pry resistance out of me / I’m slipping slow on your slope, ‘Could It Be You’”).
Otherworldly guitar textures and ghostly piano lines seamlessly interweave above an inspired rhythm section in “Caught” and “Hey Lion,” while distorted drum loops meet layered vocals in the album’s title track. The edge-of-the-bed intimacy of “Tell Me Soon” and “Miscommunication” draws the listener even farther along the emotional path Giges is charting. “The album has many facets and themes,” says Giges, “but at its core lyrically is the unspoken push and pull in the connection between two people . . . or between an artist and her audience.”
Produced and recorded by ECR founder and recording artist Blake Morgan and mastered by Grammy Award-winning recording legend Phil “Butcher Bros.” Nicolo, Evident is proof of an exceptional songwriter at work, matched with the ideal studio environment.
Building on the foundation laid down by Jonathan Ellinghaus on drums, multi-instrumentalist Morgan (bass, guitars, keys) and Giges (piano, keys, vocals) provide the rest of the album’s architecture. “We worked in the studio together for weeks, just the two of us. But I knew very quickly we were onto something special,” says Morgan. “Melissa and I have extraordinary chemistry, and we shared a detailed vision for the record we wanted to make.” The result is a recording of powerfully melodic and accessible songs wrapped in modern, innovative production that pulls the depth out of the songwriting, as well as the recording studio.
Evident‘s intelligence and sophistication are not surprising given Giges’ musical background. A classically trained pianist since age four, she discovered her love of singing by humming melodies of the works she was learning for the piano. Giges continued her musical studies, later majoring in classical voice as a Presidential Arts Scholar at George Washington University. Her stand-out gifts led to performances at the White House and the Kennedy Center, as well as a European concert series. But it was in songwriting that she says she found her true voice: “It was when I began writing songs that I knew the kind of musician I needed to be. I knew what I needed to say, and how I needed to say it.”
With the knowledge and confidence that her hard work has paid off, Giges affirms how fitting her album title is. “It’s the album I’ve always wanted to make, and the moment I’ve been working toward.”
Certainly to her audience, nothing could be more . . . Evident.