Singer/songwriter Melody Federer dissects feeling trapped by bringing a delicacy, a warmth, and a hope to her alluring new single “This Town.”
Stream: ‘This Town’ – Melody Federer
For Texas-born singer and songwriter, Melody Federer, music genres don’t seem to exist. Her songwriting has traveled back and forth across the musical spectrum, as her musical talent has led her to writing songs for artists from P!nk to Jacob Whitesides to Kelly Rowland to Michael Buble. Music seems to flow in and out of her artistry, and it doesn’t matter whether it lies within a pure pop, folk rock, or traditional jazz vein. Federer is a songwriter, a vocalist, an instrumentalist and yet, just like any other human – and just as her latest single, “This Town,” encapsulates – she, to some enchanting degree still knows what it’s like to feel trapped.
Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering Melody Federer’s latest single, “This Town.” The first of a few brand new singles that will be leading up to the release of the artist’s sophomore solo record later this year, Federer spends time bouncing back from electric guitars to soaring melodies as she analyzes and takes apart what it feels like to be stuck in a place or feeling you don’t know how to escape. The track pulls off an incredible alternative-rock vibe that proves Federer bold, daring, and creatively dangerous.
Produced by Thomas Doeve, mixed by TJ Elias, and mastered by Greg Calbi, Federer has somehow created a world where escapism is both impossible and unnecessary at the same time. The song itself has its own way of yearning.
This town always looks better when I’m leaving.
It’s like it knows I’m almost gone.
And it’s dark and I’m driving towards the border
and suddenly, all the lights come on.
Sonically, the thumping bass, loud drums, and heavy guitar rhythm create a feeling of what an enclosed space might sound like. It brings to life an off-putting visual – the slightly minor chords, guitar screams, and screeching sounds create the place that you’re hoping you could leave, the place you no longer want to be, the place you need to escape from, and yet as the song suggests, somehow you can’t get out.
The thing that keeps you tied down? Federer’s enchanting vocals.
Backed by a heavy, loud, and powerful instrumentation, Federer’s voice brings a delicacy, a warmth, and a hope to a song that’s all about angst and feeling hopelessly confined.
Her melody and tone breathe life into a song. She sings about how claustrophobic and dark her metaphorical town is, yet she simultaneously hints at ways of escape. Lines like, “It’s like it knows I’m almost gone,” and “I’m driving towards the border,” suggest that feeling trapped isn’t always forever. With a voice as dreamy and tantalizing as Federer’s, it suddenly becomes easy to see that just like the lyrics suggest, there’s always going to be a thing that keeps pulling you back to “home.” In this case, Melody Federer’s voice is what keeps listeners captivated.
“This song is supposed to capture the angst of feeling trapped, of wanting to run from your current situation but you really can’t for whatever reason,” Federer tells Atwood Magazine. “Maybe it’s because the people you love need you there. Maybe it’s because you’re hustling for something and if you leave your chance will be gone. Maybe it’s because you don’t really wanna leave, you’re just tired of the grind. But there’s also a little hope in there. Like maybe if you stick around a little longer, keep cultivating your reality, that things are gonna get better and you’ll be glad you stuck around.”
Directed by Hannah Palmer, the “This Town” music video elevates a song to a new level, showing the chaos and inconsistency that trapped feelings can manifest. In it, footage of city streets, cars, bridges, and roads cross the screen. Scenes of Federer singing in an open forest, a place you can easily get lost in, bring to light the idea that no matter how much you dream of leaving a place or escaping a feeling, you might not always get to because maybe you’ve made that place home.
this town, it screws me over,
then it calls me home.
As the song’s agonizingly heartfelt lyrics suggests, even though the place you’re in can be suffocating and confusing and draining, it’s still somehow a “home.” Federer captures this feeling perfectly when she wrote, “It calls her home.” The word “call” is different and more meaningful than feeling trapped or feeling imprisoned. She’s magically still drawn to her town, and in the video there are small yet significant things that hint at the hope that Federer suggested makes the place a home. It’s the moments that she’s playing her guitar and performing. It’s the moments that she gets to play with her band and collaborate with her friends. It’s the process of creation. It’s the person she was able to find while living in her hometown, and the artist that was able to grow out of her. Maybe it’s her roots and where she began that keeps calling her home.
No matter the reasoning though, Federer’s music out in the world seemingly creates a home for music listeners on its own.
As a follow up to her 2017 debut album Where The Dogwoods Bloom, Melody Federer is set to release her sophomore full length album in early 2020. Keep up with Melody Federer for all the latest music, live shows, and info — and stream “This Town” exclusively on Atwood Magazine!
Stream: ‘This Town’ – Melody Federer
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📸 © Matthew Berinato 2020
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