Die erste Vorladung (XII)
Ever since she was a teenager, Mélanie Pain had dreamed about going to Manchester – the city that produced bands like The Smiths and New Order seemed to radiate a doomed romance, and she was determined to experience it for herself. When it came time to write her second solo album, the Nouvelle Vague singer decided to give it a try. “Going to Manchester had always been a fantasy of mine,” she tells me. “I would imagine Morrissey walking the streets in the rain, and I would dream about going there myself someday. When I decided to take some time by myself to write a new album, I knew I wanted to get out of Paris, and I knew a friend in Manchester who could provide a bedroom, so I just went for a few months to write my stuff.” Pain quickly found that there is a duality inherent in Manchester – it’s the kind of city that you love, but also want to escape. So did the real-life Manchester live up to Pain’s teenage fantasies? “Not really,” she laughs. “When I went there, I ended up doing exactly the same things I do in Paris – waking up, having a coffee in the bar next door, going to the market to buy some food, and then working on my songs all day. It wasn’t as exceptional as I’d hoped for, but it still gave me the opportunity to write the songs I wanted to.” Pain’s new album is called Bye Bye Manchester, and it is inspired by the love-hate qualities of the rainy northern city, and by the need to escape and go somewhere new. “The album is about the places where you dream of being, but when you’re there, you dream about escaping and going to another place,” she says. “It’s about forever having this desire to be free.” Someone once said that Mélanie Pain’s music takes heartache and sadness and makes it sound sexy, and she herself finds this flattering, if a little baffling. “That’s always the thing people say about me,” she says, “that I can sing sad thing and give them this erotic feeling. I can’t control that, but I like it, because all my inspirations, all the musicians I love have the same kind of effect on their songs.”
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