If you want to make it in music these days, passion is an absolute necessity. More than talent, more than musical know-how, you must be passionate about your craft and always strive for improvement. Denver-based artist Melody Lines, known in the real world as Vinny Crippen, has a surplus of passion and a true commitment to creating music that resonates with himself and audiences alike. With the April release of his debut album, Into the Next World, Melody Lines shows that he is ready to add yet another fresh, unique sound to the Denver music scene.

The album itself is one of those rare specimens that sounds more like a second or third release than a debut. The sounds are sharp and clean; the production is top-notch; and the attention to detail is admirable to say the least. Clearly the product of a practiced musician and copious hours of work, Into the Next World is an eclectic blend of sounds, styles and vibes that, after talking with Crippen, clearly shows evidence of some of his influences. Each track on the album has a unique character from downtempo beats tinged with shades of Bonobo or Emancipator to dancier tracks with heady bass that channel EOTO or Paper Diamond (circa 2011); Melody Lines’s breakout LP is an exciting and unpredictable piece of music.

I have a lot of different influences, but one of my biggest is the band Ween. Simply because every song they have sounds completely different, yet they all still sound like their style. I want to recreate that same mentality with my music but as an electronic act. My main influences in electronic music would be Lotus, Emancipator, Pretty Lights, STS9, EOTO, Bonobo, Tipper—the list goes on, but I want to incorporate my favorite elements from each of those, mixed with various genres and infuse everything with my own style.

From a young age Vinny Crippen has been immersed in music. Learning the guitar in elementary school and playing in bands throughout high school laid the foundation upon which Melody Lines was built after falling in love with electronic music in 2009. As his love affair with electronic music intensified, Crippen expanded his musical repertoire beyond the rock and metal that he was brought up on. Rather than keeping music as a hobby on the side, Crippen chose to pursue a higher musical education while attending CU Denver, a path that is becoming increasingly common among emerging musicians. This commitment to his craft is evident not only on his album, but in his constantly evolving live experience.

I knew after high school I wanted to continue with music, so I decided to go to CU Denver for Music and even got some scholarships to help me. I started out listening to mostly rock and metal but fell in love with electronic music around 2009. I started out playing only guitar, but when I went to college I expanded my outlets to also include, piano, music theory, music business, recording arts, synthesizers, and composing electronic music. I spent a lot of time developing my new skills and developing a catalog of music so it would be ready to perform live.

Melody Lines live at the 1Up Colfax

Melody Lines live at the 1Up Colfax

The live incarnation of Melody Lines is where Crippen’s creative pursuit really shines. Joined on stage by his homie Nick Hadden on the drums, Melody Lines becomes a boundary-pushing duo in a live setting. Embracing the marriage between electronic production and live instrumentation is just the start for this forward-thinking project. After talking to him, Crippen sounds like he has some exciting new directions in mind for where he wants his live performances to go. Let’s just say there will be instruments….and improv!

I’m working on revamping my live performance to something overly complicated but quite badass. It’s going to incorporate more instruments and live looping. It’s going to allow me to write entirely new songs on the spot and create new remixes on the fly. I hope to take my new live rig on stage within a year, but it still needs a lot of work and practice.

Even though it’s been less than a year since Melody Lines’s first gig, opening up for Proper Motion and Sunsquabi, things appear to be on the up-and-up after his most recent show opening for The JJ Evanoff Experience at the Larimer Lounge. By all accounts, it’s safe to say that we can expect great things in the future from Melody Lines.

Right now I have a lot of plans; it can be a little overwhelming at times. I’m sitting on a decent amount of unreleased work right now, so I’m thinking there will be an EP or another full album hopefully by the end of the year, if not early next year. There will probably be a couple of singles in between. I really want to start releasing more diverse music. With Into the Next World I tried to cover the diversity of electronic music but didn’t get to explore other genres to the extent I wanted. I’m planning on having a lot more genre-bending material in this next work. I’ve been writing a lot of jazz lately and am thinking I will have a full jazz album soon.

 

Take some time digging into the world of Melody Lines. Check out his awesome debut album, Into the Next World in addition to his most recent release, a remix of Emancipator’s “Valhalla” (streaming in the header). The tunes are available for free, but be sure to support the artist however you can.

Be sure to check out Melody Lines live at the Cervantes Other Side on July 8th with J.Wail.

Stay in touch with Melody Lines by visiting his Facebook, Twitter, and Soundcloud pages or by checking out the official website.

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