Moody Beach shape shifts depending on the show. Sometimes Moody’s solo, sometimes a duo, and sometimes it’ll be a full band made up of musicians and mates borrowed from other groups around Sydney. The one constant is the band’s creator Melissah Marie.
Moody’s sound can’t be clearly defined. Unsurprising as her influences all come from different planets: Helmut Newton, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Haruki Murakami, Elvis, Marilyn Manson, Madonna, Grimes, The National.
“I love flamenco and shoe-gaze, also pop, then I really love dark wave electro. Also 60s jangle music,” she tells me. “My music is a mix of all my favourite songs and sounds.”
Moody Beach’s EP ‘Mirage’ launches in October at the Golden Age. For the first time Melissah will perform all her songs acoustically with “right hand gal” Courtney Cunningham, who also plays in bands La Vif, The Buoys and Good Pash.
The EP explores old and new, she says, and features some of the first songs she ever wrote and only now feels ready to share.
“Mirage is a true representation of growth for me personally, but I hope it also inspires other people to not be shy about experimenting with genres, raising conversations, challenging peoples’ perceptions.”
The launch will showcase the video for ‘Chance’, the leading single off the EP, filmed by Rex Woods.
“Chance is very close to my heart. I really wanted to represent love lost, love gained and the different ways each of us experience that.”
Listening to Moody’s music is a journey through time, stopping at junctures of hooky pop melodies, dark wave sounds and lyrics that reflect Melissah’s ideas on everything from love to female agency and control.
Melissah is fervent about the right to expression without judgement on stage for women and women-identifying artists.
“If a man takes his top off on stage it’s okay, but a woman’s body is still controversial. It’s unfair and pretty disappointing,” she says.
“I’ve had people ask me what I’m trying to prove or if I’ve got issues, but I’m just my most comfortable when I can explore my sexuality and be myself on stage.
“It’s about being able to express yourself without permission.”
As difficult as it’s been for artists to survive under harsh nightlife policies, Sydney’s live music scene continues to strengthen and diversify, says Melissah.
This fighting spirit lends unique electricity to live shows around the city.
“There are so many up and coming artists, people who are throwing festivals at their houses.
“We all know that supporting culture is integral to how we advance as a country. Anyone who’s in the scene 100% believes in that,” says Melissah.
“It’s so much bigger than just music and art. I love being a part of that story.”
‘Mirage’ will launch at Golden Age on Saturday October 5, supported by Sydney singer-songwriter Olive Rush. Entry is free.