Norwegian polymath Thomas Meidell knows a thing or two about collaborating. As Mt. Mélodie, he makes rock music infused with chamber and folk influences, but it’s rarely just him on his songs. When he records his music, “he is joined by a revolving cast of musicians,” to quote the man directly.
Outside Mt. Mélodie, he’s been part of quite a few Norwegian bands. Team Me, Ludvig Moon, The Samuel Jackson Five—these are all in the rear-view mirror for him, and his time in these acts has refined his already immense songwriting talent. He’s also among the many founding members of the Metronomicon Audio collective, which consists of the labels Koppen, NWGM, and S.L.Y.C.
Meidell is clearly well-versed in community, but the units in which he’s operated retain a shroud of mystery. “Daydream Deceiver,” the lead single from his upcoming debut album Are We There Yet? (out in January), is similarly communal and enigmatic. Its chipper acoustic guitar chords, featherlight electric guitar notes, multi-layered, low-pitched male vocals, and fluttering percussive sprint convey that Mt. Mélodie’s music is the work of many; in the same instance, they suggest a nervous air, something about which to worry deeply.
The omens of “Daydream Deceiver” lie not in the song’s instrumentation, but in Meidell’s lyrics and the instrumental interlude that begins about halfway into the song. Throughout the song, Meidell’s voice, which borders on the baritone range, sings of images that suggest the dissolution of an unstable relationship. The breakdown begins with all but the song’s drums and bass disappearing; these elements enter a thick fog through which the bass gradually rises and the electric lead guitar reemerges. The sequence is haunting, destabilizing, and unsettling. It sounds like both a daydream and a deceiver, just as communal and mysterious as Meidell and friends would have it.