Justin Loudermilk had been writing and recording music long before he started creating songs with his wife as Melancolony in 2007. Prior to Melancolony, Loudermilk wrote and recorded dozens of cosmic folk songs while attending graduate school in the indie music mecca Athens, Georgia, and he also played in several lo-fi bands in both college and high school. Loudermilk’s first songs penned as Melancolony were quirky reflections of his newlywed years with commercial model (and Melancolony contributor) Natasha Loudermilk.
Besides a brief stint in Eugene, Oregon, Loudermilk has lived most of his life in Georgia, and a wide array of Georgia-bred artistic influences are evident on Melancolony’s debut LP. Filled with biblical allusions and postmodern imagery, “Surely You Will Not Die,” for example, is not far from the cryptic Southern Gothic of early R.E.M., while the fuzzy power-pop track “Quarter Life Crises” would fit in nicely on New Adventures in Hi-Fi or Monster. “Halflife,” “Better Again,” and “Central Nervous Fire Machine” are each reminiscent of the warped yearnings of fellow Atlantans Deerhunter, and other tracks, such as “Tunnel Visions” and “Spaces in My Mind,” echo the synth-wave nostalgia of Washed Out.
Melancolony’s Soundcloud profile page is modest as it is concise: “We’re grown-up children, and our songs are mostly about trying to be adults in our strange world of jobs, kids, and mortgages. Our first album should be complete in April 2016.” Such a profile is probably not going to convince indie tastemakers to listen to their tracks (in the unlikely event they somehow land on their page). Yet, there’s plenty of depth and hooks for the patient ear.