Based out Lausanne in Switzerland, Delia Meshlir began her musical career performing with drudge-rock band Cheyenne and the more experimental tones of Primitive Trails, before letting her vocals shine after breaking out as a solo musician. Her big break came when working a stocking job for Swiss label Irascible, before catching the ear of American label Ba Da Bing, with the two labels recently co-releasing her debut album, Calling The Unknown.
Calling The Unknown opens with the spine-tingling, Sharon Van Etten-like tones of A River. Delia’s vocals instantly grab the spotlight, before slowly becoming engulfed in a vast pallet of guitars and drums, the song’s exploration of the love left behind when someone passes, is captured in beautiful simplicity as she sings, “I’m calling the unknown/but no one remains”. After such an emotive and intense opening, the gentle anger of The Better Half, and its exploration of archaic gender roles, is a sweet relief, as atop prominent guitars Delia sings out her desire to reinvent the way we think of relationships, as she puts it, “there should be no better half in a relationship, only two full beings”. Elsewhere Dirty Colors is the most rambunctious and raucous moment on the album exploring the idea of, “turning our so-called weaknesses into something beautiful”, while recent single Satin Woods is a genre-defying exploration taking in elements of jazz, trip-hop and alt-rock, as it recalls PJ Harvey, Portishead and seemingly anything else coming out of Bristol in the late 1990s. The album draws to a close on the spell-binding The Future Holds My Hand, the opening piano chords have a touch of the gentle perfection of Erik Satie, before the backing of woodwind and gentle percussion slowly swell around Delia’s tender vocals, and then the whole thing wafts out on a wave of electronic calm. An intriguing introduction, Delia Meshlir’s music seems to possess an almost mystic quality, music as much about atmosphere and feeling as it is about chords and words, it engulfs you, pulls you in, and transports you to a world that you might never want to leave.
FTR: For those who don’t know who is Delia Meshlir?
I am a Swiss musician. I’ve been composing songs since I was 10 years old. My music speaks from the heart, full of emotions and love. I use my voice to share deep feelings of mine and I try to bring light and hope to my music. In my album “Calling the Unknown” I’m inviting you into a landscape where you can be and love yourself.
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
I remember discovering the power that my voice gives me every day. The ability to connect deeply with an audience and to be where I have to be, singing for people.
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
I practice other forms of art (video, photo, painting, decorative art), but music is really the one form where I feel the deepest connection to myself and to others. It brings me a lot of joy and fun, and this is a precious thing. Art should bring you joy and you must feel confident to practice and explore it. Music is a deep language that anyone can understand, this is really the best way for me to express myself and to share my ideas and feelings with the people.
FTR: What can people expect from the Delia Meshlir live show?
I try as much as I can to play the songs as they were recorded and to sound like the album. That is why I have a lot of people with me on stage (we’re 6). And I always try to deliver the best vocal performance ever, the live shows are an experience but it’s also something you prepare like a marathon, to be at your best! I guess you come to see Delia Meshlir play live as you would go to watch a David Lynch movie, it’s languorous, haunted and magic with a whole bunch of flowers and glitter!
FTR: What’s next for Delia Meshlir?
I am preparing a lot of live shows and also my next album! With more groovy sounds, piano and synths colours, brightness and hope and shiny voices! Also some collaborations with artists I love!
They Listen To…
Kate Bush – Hounds of Love
Angel Olsen – Whole New Mess
Big Thief – Change
Prince – 1999
Jess Williamson – I See The White