Refresher Vol. 2

by Melanie Peterson

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davidflack The songs are truly refreshing! Favorite track: Kiss Me Like You Mean It (remix).


This is Melanie Peterson's second collection of "alternate" mixes. These three tracks were brought together to pitch for some tv/ film opportunities. They share a sound and perspective that “looks back” to another era so it was our hope to accentuate some of those qualities. A lot of the choices like compression, eq, panning and reverb were made with this in mind.

The more obvious mix moments come about at the start of Kiss Me... where the rhythm section has been removed up until the beginning of the chorus giving the song an opportunity to build in a more dramatic way. I wanted to let the strings breathe in at the head of the song and have Melanie's voice percolate over top the rhythms of the bubbly hand percussion laid out by Mark Mariash.

On Don't Tell Me the changes are less obvious at the top of the song. Though the reverb is generously applied here and the panning of parts is far more extreme, those changes don't seem as extreme until the chorus hits with the panning becoming more obvious and the cavernous drum reverb kicking in. And of course when the second verse hits the mix is stripped down to the lead vocal and tremolo guitar. I love hearing Melanie's emotionally charged vocal exposed before the group kicks back in on the pre-chorus. Another subtle change occurs during the final chorus-repeats taking the song to the final chord. Here, I've cut a repetition out entirely which is an edit that I’ve wanted to do on the track for some time. It gives the ending a balance that just feels right.

Where There's Smoke is one of my favourite songs of Melanie's. Though the words sit comfortably in this deceptively simple song, it’s the acidic bite in the lyric that I love and it’s a place that Melanie rarely goes to. The sentiment sits perfectly on a bed of old country goodness. This mix is modeled on those of that era. It's a more extreme stereo picture using far more spring and plate reverb than the original mix (from Anywhere From Here). There's less muscle in the rhythm section to give it more of a throwback feel and again there's a section where the lyrics are emphasized by subtracting some of the elements around the vocal (third verse). This also lets Peter Collin’s reserved, but tasty tremolo pianet performance to rise to the surface rather than remain a background texture.

There are so many wonderful songs that have appeared on Melanie's albums/ Eps, but the Refresher series has been an illuminating exercise in highlighting some those tracks that may have been overlooked.

-Mitch Girio


released September 11, 2018

Melanie Peterson - vocals, acoustic guitar
Peter Collins - bass, keys, backing vocals
“Lucky” Pete Lambert - drums, percussion, backing vocals
Mark Mariash - drums (Kiss Me Like You Mean It)
Mitch Girio - guitars, keys, percussion
Kevin Neal - pedal steel (Where There's Smoke)
Alex McMaster - cello (Kiss Me Like You Mean It)
Jill Daley - violin (Kiss Me Like You Mean It)
Amanda Penner - viola (Kiss Me Like You Mean It)

produced, engineered and re-mixed by Mitch Girio
recorded at Slaughterhouse 754 and The Slowcooker
bass/drum recorded : Revolution Recording

Kiss Me Like You Mean It recorded at Union Sound Company/The Slow Cooker

Music and lyrics by Melanie Peterson (SOCAN)
cover photo: Frank Caruso


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Melanie Peterson Toronto, Ontario

This Saskatoon born Toronto-based singer-songwriter has quietly become one of the bright lights on the Toronto folk scene. With her aching vibrato and prairie roots, her work has been consistently praised by listeners and music critics alike. She has been deemed “Mary Poppins with a broken heart” by BBC & looks forward to the upcoming release of her new single "We Got This". ... more

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