Melt represents the melding of two creative forces, Marion Belle and the late Sam Mehran. At the time of their uniting, Belle (of Fatal Jamz) was coming to the end of a two-year spin for his 2016 LP Coverboy, and Mehran had trailing behind him roughly a decade’s worth of lo-fi albums released under a variety of handles. Mehran had also recently moved back to Los Angeles and was busy producing, putting away 3 records in 2017 alone, including Puro Instinct’s Autodrama, Ssion’s 2018 album 0, and works from friend and collaborator, Samantha Urbani.
Belle and Mehran found immediate alignment, as they were both seeking new avenues for creative inspiration.
He was tapped at the time we met… He was like, man I’m tired of sitting behind laptops and doing this (mimics typing). He was like, ‘I don’t care, man.’
In my own way I was in a similar place. But we started writing right away because for both of us making music, the process of it, was always the solution, it was always the answer.– Marion Belle
From February 2018 until late July the two wrote about ten tracks. The last time the two saw each other was July 21st, after spending a day in Van Nuys scoring a pair of studio monitors – Mehran was set to begin mixing the EP the next day. He took his own life a week later, on July 27th, 2018, succumbing to demons and mental health challenges which he had battled since childhood.
I think that our bond was profound because we both felt, after all we had each been through, we had been brought together for a reason. And that reason was to help each other to not give up. Sam lived and created in a different way. It was actual magic. And I knew every day that this chance to create with him was going to be one of the greatest treasures of my life.
He was incredibly happy and up, up to that very last day we were together. We were going to take on the world, defeat all our own curses, and he was going to be everything he ever wanted to be. In losing Sam, so many people lost the light of their life. And the world lost so much incredible music.
It became important for me to finish it because the songs are the story of our friendship and he is eternally alive in them. I know he is watching and I know he is with me.– Marion Belle
Now, about a year later, the almost-lost EP is finally finished. It was dubbed the name Melt, a significant word found on a page of Mehran’s notebook after his passing. The completion of the EP was made possible with the help of Nick Weiss, of Teengirl Fantasy and fellow SSION collaborator.
Listen to Melt below:
Strung by Mehran’s guitar arrangements, Melt finds a fresh marriage between that and Belle’s unmistakeable glam-rock persona. Woven throughout the EP is a direct, hard-hitting sound that reveals and uproots the core of what the duo had discovered together. The five tracks above outline their dedication to the craft and the process of creating music, fully embracing the ups and downs of the euphonic journey.
“When we wrote Way of Life, we knew that we had an album because that song epitomized the kind of ride or die songs we both wanted to make. That song was our baby because it’s about how music is the way of life.”– Marion Belle
Melt will not be the last we hear from Sam Mehran’s unfinished works. In addition to his first posthumous albums, Katie Rush’s Stage Life (out earlier this summer), and Melt with Marion Belle, we can expect to see in the future a solo, all-instrumental album, and his third album with Katie Rush. He was just getting started in his career at the end of his life, and the legacy of Sam Mehran will thrive onward.