I still maintain that Meljii’s Propeller Hat is one of the best pure pop songs I have heard in a long time. It is addictive and quirky, well-crafted and unaffected by fad or fashion. The fact that it ticked so many boxes regarding what pop music is all about yet seemed so alien to the drab and dross that clutters up the charts these days suggests means that we might even need a new name for it. I’ll get back to you on that when I have had a think. Its very presence is also a scathing inditement of how lost modern pop music is by comparison.
Well, Meljii is back with a new take on indie-pop and Creme Brule is a gorgeously restrained ballad, this time the wit and humour are replaced by moving sentiment and wistfully reflective tones, the smart lyrical snaps have gone and something more poignant beats away at the heart of the song. It is based on the idea of being lost in a moment or a look or a snapshot of time and realising that this might one day be a memory rather than a reality, that the summer doesn’t last forever and maybe this relationship won’t either, it is the perfect balance of innocence and idealism with the reality of the adult world.
But it is still a love song, just a more honest and real one, not some schmaltzy throwaway piece of pop pep, rhyming June with Moon and sounding like the sort of thing that would send even Disney tune intern writers back to their drawing boards. The charts are full of false sentiment and missed placed idealism, but Creme Brule is not that, it is so far away from that, that the charts can’t even see Meljii from where they are standing.
Bathed in chiming, understated guitar, gently pulsing and punctuating bass lines it is a master class in less is more, in connection over impact, but again, it is the lyrical content that draws you in so brilliantly as it unravels the thoughts and feelings coming from one half of a relationship.
Creme Brule, like Propeller Hat before it, shows you that pop doesn’t need to follow zeitgeists or crave fashionable approval from the self styled cool kids, the industry aficionados and the musical powers that be. The things that have always made pop cool are the things that still matter. It isn’t the dance routines, the spangly outfits, the multi-million dollar video, the guest rapper or the 13 celebrity producers and co-writers that decide if a song sinks or swims in the industry shark pool. It’s simpler than that. Does the song hook you in, are you humming it before the halfway mark, in short, is it a good song?
Creme Brule is a great song. And that, dear reader, is all that matters.