Melody Moko is a woman who embraces and thrives on change. Born and raised in Adelaide, SA, she’s lived in Queensland and NSW, become a mother of two, and as a critically acclaimed songwriter she’s taken her music to the world since the release of debut album in 2017.
Melody is one of those artists whose style is a natural and heartfelt extension of her personality and perspective on life. Her songs reside under the wide umbrella of Americana yet they inhabit all its intriguing corners, traveling from melancholic alt-country to pining country songs, uplifting pop-tinged revelry and proud and powerful balladry. Her heroes and contemporaries include Brandi Carlile, Tift Merritt, Kathleen Edwards, Fanny Lumsden and Brooke Fraser.
Growing up with a father who was a passionate and encouraging music enthusiast, Melody knew early on that she “wanted to sing like Linda Ronstadt, and write songs like Bob Dylan.” That awareness of song and performance led to her traveling around Australia, playing her songs and winning songwriting awards in her early teens. The allure of international travel took her to the USA where she had the honour of performing at iconic country music venues such as Nashville’s famous Bluebird Cafe, The Continental Club in Austin, Texas and Hank William's favourite hangout, Tootsies.
In 2017 Melody released her debut album "The Wreckage", co-produced by multi- instrumentalist (and partner) Michael Moko and award-winning songwriter Catherine Britt. An album that celebrates life but doesn’t avoid its pitfalls, it covers everything from bluegrass to folk-pop, with a strong seam of Australian roots and gentle twang. As a full-length introduction to the musical world of Melody Moko, the album established her as a songwriter and performer on the Americana scene. She undertook a national tour, received a CMC New Artist nomination, played shows with Fanny Lumsden, The McClymonts and Catherine Britt, and appeared at high profile festivals including Groundwater Country Music Festival (2018), Gympie Music Muster (2019), and Spunk Record's Thirroul Music Festival in 2019.
“[The Wreckage] is a fresh, vibrant and truly original album” - Country Update
As a new decade begins, so too does an exciting new chapter in the Melody’s musical story. In 2019 she embarked on another successful USA tour, with Catherine Britt, and traveled to Nashville, TN to record her second album – “Two Kids and A Radio” - with acclaimed producer Neilson Hubbard (Mary Gauthier, Kim Richey, Matthew Ryan and Caroline Spence) and co-producer Michael Moko.
There’s a new maturity to this exceptional batch of alt-country songs – in both the depth of emotional connectivity, the richly detailed, world class voice that Melody possesses and the sonic tone and texture of the recordings. The majority of the album was recorded live, capturing the spirit of the players, including East Nashville’s Juan Solorzano and Fats Kaplin on fiddle and steel guitar (John Prine).
First single “Last Cigarette” (co-written with Britt) cleverly compares the grip of nicotine to a conflicted relationship. She has since released a further three singles – “Benjamin”, “Like Hank Would” and the chart busting, “Mama”.
Off the back of the album, Melody entered the ARIA Australian Country Albums Chart at #1, #3 ARIA Country Albums, #9 ARIA Australian Albums, #40 ARIA Albums Chart and #1 AIR 100% Independent Albums. She also earned three nominations at the 2021 Golden Guitar Awards – Alt Country Album of The Year, Female Artist of The Year and New Talent of The Year. Melody was awarded the Golden Guitar for New Talent of The Year for the song, “Like Hank Would”. She was also named a nominee for the prestigious Australian Music Prize, named iHeart Country’s Artist of the Week and a finalist for the Q Music Awards.
"Two Kids and A Radio" provides listeners with a new picture of Melody Moko, one that is a product of her life on the road, as a mother, a woman and, particularly a woman in the music industry.
“I feel like The Wreckage was my life PG and pretty, still figuring out how I wanted to tell my story, just nudging at it and testing the waters. This new record is the MA version, the indie film, the nude scenes, the gross things and the stuff that makes viewers or listeners uncomfortable but needs to be said.”