A combination of three music genres, four musicians and 18 different instruments is behind the sound of the band The Melodic.
The afro-folk-pop band from London is on a seven-week tour in the U.S. They will be performing at the Kent Stage April 2 at 8 p.m. with the West African band Tinariwen. Tickets are currently on sale for $25.
Band members — Huw Williams, Rudi Schmidt, John Naldrett and Lydia Samuels — said they are often credited for having their music fit perfectly with the name of the group.
“The band name came as something we aim to do, and it holds us to high standards,” Williams said. “We really try to make the music as full of melody and rich sound as possible, and I feel we live up to that.”
Williams, the lead singer and guitarist of the band, described their sound as eclectic.
“It’s folk music, but at some point we also started incorporating some reggae with an African vibe,” Williams said. “We try to take as much inspiration from around the world as possible.”
Williams said he thinks the band’s use of multiple instruments adds to their distinct sound. Their newest album, for example, uses 18 instruments including a South American guitar and a melodica — a combination of a keyboard and harmonica.
Williams said The Melodic’s first performance in the U.S. was at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas on March 14. They are now set for a 20-show tour with Tinariwen.
“Touring with them (Tinariwen) is going to be a real educational experience,” Williams said. “They’ve been such an inspiration to us—touring for over 20 years with great acclaim.”
Williams said he believes both bands will bring a new sound to the Kent Stage.
“People often find it hard to define our sound and I think that gives us character,” Williams said. “We grew up in a very culturally diverse neighborhood in London, so many different styles blend into our music naturally.”
Kent Stage owner, Tom Simpson said he believes The Melodic and Tinarawen are great bands for the venue.
“With the history of the music we’ve done here, it being so diverse, the band’s agent felt like these two would be a perfect match for Kent,” Simpson said. “He hasn’t steered me wrong yet, and I’m really excited to have them.”
Williams said that while it may seem surprising that the band is coming to a small town like Kent, the choice to come is all about new experiences.
“It’s important to break the journey up instead of just hopping to big cities,” Williams said. “It’s quite a nice experience when you play as many places as you can when you’re such a long way from home; you get so much more out of it.”
Contact Endya Watson at [email protected]