Melanie Dekker’s a born storyteller

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      Melanie Dekker
      Secret Spot (Independent)

      Melanie Dekker boasts quite the résumé. As well as opening for Bryan Adams, Faith Hill, and Russell Peters, the roots-pop singer-songwriter has performed in front of Bill Clinton and played shows and festivals all over Europe and Canada. In short: Dekker knows how to write a slamming country-pop tune.

      Secret Spot proves she hasn’t lost her touch. A master of creating relentless earworms, the artist owes her success to keeping it simple. Relying on acoustic-guitar strums, the performer rarely adds more accompaniment than light drums, bass, and keys, instead investing her talent in catchy choruses and sing-it-again lyrics.

      Dekker’s true gift on the album, though, is her storytelling. “I never heard my dad sing, but he sure likes to play music loud/Likes to dance up a storm, the polite guy in a crowd,” she intones on “Te Amo Mucho”, telling the tale of how her father found his voice. Title track “Secret Spot”, meanwhile, intimately describes a route through the trees to the edge of a beach—a map that seems to correlate perfectly with the singer’s home in Deep Cove.

      Secret Spot also sees the artist dabble in more diverse instrumentation. Standout track “Memories of You” shimmers with an aching electric-guitar riff and Dekker’s artful vocal acrobatics, while “Better When We Do” offers a playful take on female self-love with jazz chords and velvety trumpet accents.

      Dekker isn’t transforming the genre on her new record—but that’s never been her goal. Rather, the album offers a master class in roots-pop at its very best—and a must-listen for any Vancouverites looking to make a mark on country music.

       Follow Kate Wilson on Twitter @KateWilsonSays