Moody Beach is the artistic project of Sydney songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Melissah Mirage. Since 2017, Mirage has released two bodies of work and collaborated on various musical projects in Australia.
Debut track “Vanilla” earned spot rotation on triple j and a slot on Henry Rollins’ KCRW show “Fanatic”.
For Mirage, music is a catharsis journey; it is a way of documenting her life, weaving her experiences together and letting them live their own lives for her listeners. “Music grants me the freedom to reflect and build connections through an unfiltered self. I am fortunate to have an outlet for all the thoughts, ideas, interpretations, and memories running through my head,” Mirage explains.
If you’ve ever seen Moody Beach perform, you’ll notice she owns her space on stage. “A woman’s body is still a controversial subject. It’s something I consciously tackle through the music I make, how I behave and what I wear.” Sometimes that’s confronting for people. Mirage has been told it “distracts from [her] music…” a particularly disappointing critique in light of the Me Too era. “Mate, I am my music!” Marie responds “I get to decide what that looks like. I’m so done with these ideas of what a woman ‘should be’.’’ It’s a central part of who she is, and through her music, she hopes to make a little space for other women-identifying and gender fluid people who feel the same.
2019’s “Mirage” EP saw Moody team-up with Producer Dean Tuza (Stella Donnelly, The Rubens, Thelma Plum) to assist in showcasing her vision. Viewed together the EP forms a larger narrative, with each track leading into the next, exploring major themes of Obsession and Control, Female Agency, The Reflection of Future/Past and Evolution of self.
Wasting no time, Mirage began working on her next release, another confident & uncompromising step forward that would become 2021’s “Assembly of The Wild” EP; exploring the inner-workings of those who can’t be put in boxes, those who are reprimanded for being themselves, those who are deemed wild.
An element of Mirage’s creative journey that’s different from many of her peers is that she has always held a corporate or government job throughout her musical career. The two worlds do not always gel. With recordings and performances that consciously challenge notions of “female acceptability” in a way that have sometimes been deemed too provocative or controversial, this has proved challenging to some of her 9-5 colleagues.
Her music has catalysed people to judge & dismiss her, but then it’s also the best ammunition she has against sexism, misogyny, and corporate hegemony.
“Assembly of the Wild,” reinforces the importance of seeking truth, remaining curious, and pushing back against the hypocrites in society who support diversity on terms that suit themselves. It’s a nod to my tribe in the arts community who have created a home and a safe space for me in Sydney. I believe that if we continue to push boundaries, eschew pigeonholing, and explore dangerous ideas, we can all find our kindred spirits.” – Moody Beach.
Mirage knew exactly the producer she wanted to work with on “Assembly of the Wild” and proactively reached out to Kim Moyes of The Presets. Having had great success with Australian musical royalty The Presets, and recently with other bands such as DMA’s & Northeast Party House, Moyes had the sonic aesthetic that Mirage was looking for.
Capturing the raw, visceral energy of the first two Presets records (Beams & Apocalyspo) Mirage & Moyes were able to channel the music’s broader themes. A natural vocalist & bassist, Marie took the opportunity to explore her musicality to record each instrument herself from guitar to bass, synth and vocals. Moyes contributed the drums in a way that only he can.
This is neatly explored on the EP’s first single “Why Not” which sets the tone for what’s to come.
“Why Not” is about unfulfilled desire towards a person who is off-limits; how this desire muddles the brain and your capacity to think and act logically. To me, desire is one of the most primal human instincts. I revelled in the feeling and had a lot of fun writing the song. It was the perfect outlet and a cathartic release.” – Moody Beach.
Much lies ahead for Moody Beach in 2021 including a series of collaborations with other artists, an exploration into pushing the Moody Beach world into literature, and wide variety live performances.