Artist info

Genre

Indie, Roots


Sounds like

People have said: Lamb, Lhasa, Fiona Apple, Joanna Newsom, Bjork, Tori Amos, Sarah Blasko, Jill Scott...


band members

Mei Lai Swan - vocals, cello; + guests


Influences

Angus & Julia Stone, Massive Attack, hip hop ++ , many many... old jazz like Billie Holiday, newer ladies as above (& some fellas too)


Unearthed artists we like

Eva Popov, Max and Isnod, Tashka Urban


Bio

With tales spun between two homes in the desert and the city, Mei Lai Swan is taking her place amongst the nation’s chanteuses for her finely crafted avant-indie-pop built on cello, loops, multi-instrumentalism, and the occasional electronica. Her entirely captivating and versatile voice weaves through stories that expose the utterly human and the sometimes unexpected, relflecting a penchant for creative experimenting and a healthy disregard for convention. Mei Lai cut her musical teeth as celtic fusion band Lothlorien’s violinist and as a session musician with acclaimed Melbourne artists such as Ned Collette, Carl Pannuzzo, and Love Outside Andromeda. She has performed on the international stage with Chamber Made Opera and occasionally composed for theatre, circus and film. With this wealth of experience behind her, in 2006 Mei Lai moved to Alice Springs to escape the big city and delve into community development work with remote Aboriginal communities. In her spare time she started performing as a solo cellist-singer-songwriter and very quickly impressed the locals, supporting Tecoma’s Live At The Lane recording and receiving press and radio interviews. Released independently in September 2007, and accompanied by a national tour that kicked off with a stand-out gig at the Darwin Festival, her debut EP ‘The Morning Tree’ garnered national and local airplay, reviews and interviews all around the country and is distributed through Vitamin Records. 2008 then saw Mei Lai go from strength to strength. She won Triple J Unearthed’s Top Song competition for the NT, was singled out from the crowd to perform key showcase events and festivals across the country, including Brisbane’s Big Sound, and was chosen to attend select industry workshops including the JB Seed Management Workshop. Amongst this – and full time community work - she still found time to head back into the studio, releasing and touring nationally a well-received single ‘Calling The Sky’. Pretending to move back to Melbourne at the start of 2009, a busy year was spent writing, gigging, dancing, gardening, a few fun side projects and still plenty of work in the desert with Aboriginal kids. Expanding her songwriting to include guitar, piano and more electronica, and true to her varied approach to life and creativity, Mei Lai is currently recording her debut album with a mix of Melbourne’s most talented electro-acoustic producers including Jake Savona, Damien Charles (The Red Eyes), The Nomad, and Soup (Miso). Her new single release Wedding Day, produced by Jake (Mista) Savona is the first single from this album, due out later this year.

Review

50

I've always been a fan of Mei Lai ever since we gigged together many years ago, her sense of uniqueness almost trip-hop, pop sensibility makes her a stand out from the crowd. Hope see is recording more music.

I've always been a fan of Mei Lai ever since we gigged together many years ago, her sense of uniqueness almost trip-hop, pop sensibility makes her a stand out from the crowd. Hope see is recording more music.

Review

D-Day

10 Feb 2010

50

Mei Lai this song is really awesome. It's got a bit of a trip-hoppy feel, like Gorillaz or sumtin. I like how you build it up to a heavy passionate ending. Nice production - definitely worth 'hooking up' with Savona for he he. Nice work Mei Lai it's my favourite so far.

Mei Lai this song is really awesome. It's got a bit of a trip-hoppy feel, like Gorillaz or sumtin. I like how you build it up to a heavy passionate ending. Nice production - definitely worth 'hooking up' with Savona for he he. Nice work Mei Lai it's my favourite so far.

Review

elspeth

02 Feb 2010

50

Quirky and lovely. A delight for ears craving a different kind of beauty.

Quirky and lovely. A delight for ears craving a different kind of beauty.