Melodramatic is the debut from Icelandic pop artist Heidrunna, the result of her love of classic hooks and greatest hits records, and inspired by the likes of Charlotte Gainsbourg, Vanessa Paradis and Blondie.
Being melodramatic may be considered extreme behaviour by some, but Heidrunna appears to have a good balance on this great album. “No Valium” shows her strength in vulnerability and a winning sense of humour as the singer declares “love me or leave me/don’t cry me those fake tears”, and that she “won’t be going on Valium/although I may have a drink or two.” “Erasing You”, about the trouble with stopping and starting difficult relationships, is enhanced by an idiosyncratic vocal and ‘70s hooks.
The titles of some of the songs (“Borderline”, “You Can Go Your Own Way”, ““All Cried Out”) point towards an interest in classic pop and rock, with the album’s influences just under the surface; there’s the Kylie electropop of woozy “Love Don’t Come Easy” and a hint of early Prince in “You Make Me Feel”. “Cindy” is an uplifting tribute to dancing in the kitchen “late in the night/having all the fun/do what Cindy says” (in recognition of Cindy Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”) sung in Heidrunna’s native Icelandic.
What of the melodrama of the title? The light ‘80s pop synth of “Borderline” is strengthened by the underlying dramatic lyrics (“it’s hard enough to find love/how could I think living with you/would mean no more pain, and sorrow?”), but the album has variety. “Call It Melodramatic” is surprisingly understated given the title, “You Can Go Your Own Way” is spirited and jaunty, and the romance in “Daydreamer” is gently fragile. Closer “All Cried Out”, written during a gruelling period of loss, is a dark finish.
Produced by Liam Howe (Lana Del Rey, MARINA, FKA twigs and Ellie Goulding), Melodramatic is a stimulating and engaging album, an update of ‘80s electronic pop with a fresh, clean sound and depth of performance. Drama can be boring, but Melodramatic is always entertaining.
Release Date: 21 APR 2022