Recording under the name Melancolony, Justin Loudermilk is a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and humanities teacher based in Northern California.
Originally from Georgia, Justin moved from Atlanta to the Bay Area when he was offered a new teaching job in 2017. He and his wife currently live in the Rio Del Mar neighborhood with their two daughters and three dogs.
MELANCOLONY’S SOPHOMORE INDIE ROCK LP RELEASE: JULY 21
Breezy indie rock outfit Melancolony announces the August release of their sophomore album, This Place of Wonder. The album, recorded between March and July 2020, is a wide-eyed meditation on the beauty of Northern California.
A “pandemic album,” Justin Loudermilk wrote and recorded these songs while sheltering-in-place at his home in Rio Del Mar. As racial tensions and COVID-19 wreaked havoc throughout the country, Loudermilk made an effort to counterbalance the psychological weight of these bleak times by paying attention to the environmental charms of Santa Cruz. This album is the result.
Guided by Loudermilk’s literary lyrics and affective vocals, This Place of Wonder is bursting at the seams with local allusions. The surf-rock tune “From the Trees to the Seas,” for example, is a nod to the University of California Santa Cruz’s student-run radio station, KZSC. The jangly track “Hidden Beach” is about the Rio Del Mar park Loudermilk frequents with his family. Other geographic-specific references proliferate throughout the LP.
Although This Place of Wonder urges listeners to “throw away the bad news,” it would be inaccurate to say that the work completely ignores the current civil unrest in the United States. “An Atticus Finch is Hard to Find” addresses right wing opposition to the Black Lives Matter movement by encouraging empathy. “(Stuart Murdoch) Staring at the Monterey” mentions wearing masks and takes a jab at Fox News: “The sky is falling /A screaming match on TV / Drama for Hannity and the elderly.”
Musically, the songs span a broad range of styles, from psychedelia and Baroque pop to synth-based post-punk and surf. Self-produced and self-released, there’s plenty of depth and hooks to reward patient fans of independent music. The album is available on Spotify, Apple Music and other platforms and can be purchased and downloaded at Bandcamp.