Americana Highways brings you this premiere of Melody Duncan’s “Wolf Song,” the title track for debut solo album,
due to be available on March 12, 2021. The album was written, recorded, performed, produced, and mixed by Melody Duncan, then mastered by Josh Reynolds. The song premiere is just beneath our chat with Melody Duncan. As anyone with a modicum of sense knows, wolves are primordial elements of our own souls. Melody Duncan’s contemporary indie folk vocal tones take unexpected twists and turns and climb until they are soaring like the uninhibited running of a wolf pack.
AH: Tell us the story behind the song. What inspired you to write it?
MD: In 2018, I played a few concerts with The Mulligan Brothers in Westcliffe, CO. It’s such a beautiful, serene area. You can see the outlines of blue mountains and smell the crisp, dry air. On our day off, our host, “Uncle Bob,” took us to a wolf sanctuary (Mission: Wolf) nearby. I was entranced from the moment we arrived. The rescued wolves have large, open spaces to live freely while still being cared for by the capable staff. We met the co-founder, Kent Weber who gave us a tour and allowed us to see many of the incredible wolves on property.
I had brought my violin along because I hoped to play music for them. Weber loved the idea of playing violin for the wolves, and allowed us to enter one of the enclosures. I performed solo violin for the wolves, playing lilting/soothing music I hoped the wolves might like. To our delight and awe, one by one the wolves began to howl with me! They were singing, howling to the sound of solo violin. It was incredible, maybe a once in a lifetime experience. The clear, haunting sound filled the air all around us. It was a chorus of wolves stretched out over miles of mountainous property and me in the middle, playing a solo violin. I’ve returned to that memory many times over the past few years, thinking about the song the wolves gave that day. There were no words spoken, yet there seemed to be so much said. The experience felt like a clearing of emotion, an expression of something repressed. It felt like a conversation that said everything important, and still uplifted the soul without burden.
As it did that day, it can still bring tears to my eyes when I think about it. These beautiful, mysterious, awe-inspiring creatures were sharing parts of themselves with us. That’s also why I now choose to think of the people in my life as my Wolf Pack. Like the wolves, we humans can be beautiful, mysterious, awe-inspiring creatures. Sometimes we need a moment of expression that words can’t cover. Music can express those moments. Music can also help us reach across a chasm to others, no matter how far apart we are. The happening at Mission: Wolf inspired the “Wolf Song” track, as well as the title of the whole album. The lyrics on “Wolf Song” address intense, personal experiences and a longing to return to a place “where the wolf sings its song.”
AH: You wrote, recorded, and produced everything on the track. How was the recording process for this particular song?
MD: I recorded this song in two different places. I set up a studio and recorded part of it while I was staying at my mom’s house in Alabama, then I recorded the rest of it in my apartment studio. I had the regular home studio challenges in both places (noisy neighbors, thunder storms, lawn mowers outside the window, etc.), but it’s cool to have the memory of capturing audio from two different locations.
AH: What is next for Melody Duncan?
MD: I actually hope to start recording another album soon after the release of this record. When the music concert circuit is able to open again safely, I hope to hit the road playing a series of tours with my dog, Atlas, by my side. Meanwhile, I’m livestreaming and connecting with the Wolf Pack online!
Pre-save link: https://show.co/22il8js