Mel Stone

Mel Stone


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How to describe Mel Stone: she’s soft like your favorite flannel shirt and as hard as the world that brought her here. You feel weird calling Mel’s music folk-punk, but is there a better name for her blend of tender acoustic melodies with tired, Dyke Drama-adjacent bitterness? Listen to Mel’s 2017 EPs Coney and Clara and you’ll hear the kind of optimism only found at the bottom of a well, where a single pinprick of light is enough to keep looking up. Mel’s new album Female expands on Coney and Clara, and not just because she’s playing a lonesome piano this time round; Female draws on the the mundanity of everyday trans life--depression, family, the quietly piercing stares that follow her in public--and, as if by backwoods alchemy, transforms it into a statement of personal and political defiance. Listen to it and tell me I’m wrong. - Sam Riedel