A songwriting star, Mel is a two-time NZ Music Award finalist for Folk Album Of The Year and has won a number of awards including Country Song Of The Year (NZCMA). Mel says she's excited to visit Australia, particularly playing Dashville Skyline.
“I'm super excited. I've had friends that have played [Dashville Skyline] in the past and it seems like such a great thing; Magpie [mastermind behind Dashville Skyline] and all those guys are super cool.”
Mel is no stranger to Australia, touring and playing at a number of festivals. “I've been all over Australia. I was out there earlier this year for Port Fairy Folk Festival,” she says. “I've also played at Woodford Folk Festival and a bunch of other festivals over the years.”
Festivals are definitely a favourite for Mel having played and attended numerous events all around the world. “Festivals are fun because it's a whole new audience and atmosphere, it's so cool. They're also great because you get to hang out with artists and meet a whole lot of different people.
“Often if I'm on the road it's at the opposite time, so I never really have a chance to see any acts. But when you're at a festival you play your set and [then] go see whoever else.”
Mel's love for festivals is accompanied by a bit of jealousy about Australia's large variety of festivals. “Australia does festivals really well, you've got so many great festivals here. We've got a few good ones in New Zealand but everything's on a smaller scale,” she says.
Mel recently returned home from a five-week tour exploring the wonders of Europe. “I did 21 shows kind of all over. I suppose I was more concentrated on the west,” she says. “It was great, it was so warm.” Mel says she had so many favourite moments and shows from her Europe tour. “We had a really cool show in a big park in Hamm which was pretty cool in Germany,” she says.
Mel's last album was 2015s 'Drylands', but she says new tracks are in the works. “I'm working on a new record at the moment, which I'm hoping I'll have ready to go by next year. It's a bit of a mountain to climb, it's a bit of a job but that's our job, that's what we do.”
Mel also has plans to team with Aussie folk artist Liz Stringer. “We're doing an Australian and New Zealand run, so we will do two weeks in Australia with Dashville in the middle and then two weeks back here,” she says.