It's fair to say that youth is something that's rarely held back pop musicians in the past, but it's often accompanied by an element of antipathy from those who fear overly controlled pop music and doubt that younger artists can genuinely be pushing pop music forward without significant assistance and manufacturing. The likes of Kate Bush, Taylor Swift and most recently Billie Eilish have been some of the biggest exceptions, and with the latter's global dominance on the back of genuinely forward thinking music there has been a refreshing new narrative.
At just 17 years old, Irish singer-songwriter Mel Maryns is looking to follow in their footsteps, but rather than futuristic pop she takes on a old-school rock sensibility and combines it with a modern energy. Having begun her career busking on the streets of Dublin and Cork, her single Ghost In Town describes the isolation, frustration and contemplation of performing for a transient audience. It's an intriguing tune that has her vocals very much as it's focus, and what it might lack a little in presence it makes up for in catchiness and intricacy.
Kicking off with a wailing metal guitar line, the track segues into a powerful beat backed by a solid bassline and some full-blooded modern rock guitar riffs. There's a healthy dose of synths too that vary from 80s electro flashes in the chorus to atmospheric melodies in the breaks. It is a little flat sounding in places, but there's a lot that's very interesting and the different sounds and instrumentation offer a fair amount of hidden depth.
The production is certainly not the primary focus here though, that is reserved for the song-writing and Mel's brooding vocals. There's a uniquely effervescent quality to her delivery along with a subtle swing and grit that really comes alive in the chorus. It's definitely catchy, although a few vocal harmonies or runs would perhaps had added a little more colour towards the end. The song is well written, and while the verses and chorus are both very strong in tone, the softer atmospheric breaks give an added dynamism to the track.
Considering how relatively new to her career Mel Maryns is, Ghost In Town is a pretty accomplished track. Of course there are areas it could be improved, but that's to be expected, and in the places where it really matters, the vocals and song-writing, Mel Maryns excels. There's a lot of potential here, and if Ghost In Town is anything to go by, then Mel Maryns has a strong career ahead of her.