The Mellow Dees are a US-based alternative rock trio formed by Pinoy rock veterans Melody Del Mundo (ex-Sugar Hiccup) on vocals and guitar, Wolf Gemora (formerly of Wolfgang and Lokomotiv) on drums, and Nievera (a.k.a. Robin Nievera, eldest son of singers Martin Nievera and Pops Fernandez, also a solo artist) on lead guitar.
On paper, it’s hard to imagine how this band might sound like, given Del Mundo’s storied dream-pop background, Gemora’s hard rock leanings (he was the “Wolf” in Wolfgang, after all), and Nievera’s fleet-fingered, psychedelic fretwork. However, the band has made their disparate specialties work together for four years now, and they’ve just released their debut album, Walls Might Melt, on November 11, under Lilystars Records.
“We are aware that this is quite an unlikely collaboration and much to our surprise, it’s working out really well,” Del Mundo tells Billboard Philippines. She narrates that a friend contacted her in late 2019 to put together a group to perform at the launch event of a new app. “The three of us got connected by a common acquaintance and were invited to jam together,” she continues. “That time, I had about eight songs that I’ve written and asked the guys if we could jam some of them as part of our repertoire for the gig. On that first jam, at least I knew and felt that we had something beautiful that could grow from there. We practiced a few more times and we really liked how we sounded, and the songs were evolving and coming out really great.”
The singer maintains that there was no predetermined sound or direction for their songs. “We didn’t talk about a specific genre or music that we should follow or cater to,” she says. “All we knew was that whatever we were doing sounded great.” The band kept jamming, rehearsing, and playing shows until the pandemic happened, and then they reconvened in 2021 to hone their songs further and finally record them. First single “Laman,” released last year, confounded listeners with its reggae groove and kundiman-style melodies. Several singles followed, including the propulsive “Runnin’” (which sounds like ’90s British jangle-pop band The Sundays on steroids), the furious “Amber Alert,” and its Tagalog retelling “Sakim.”
The album, co-produced by Anjelo Alonte and mixed by Diego Garrido (of ‘90s alternative band Electrikoolaid) took 19 months to finish, with session bassist Phil Recto providing the low end. “It was such a feat to record our songs because most of us have day jobs, families, and scheduling conflicts, not to mention that we are logistically challenged because we live in different cities,” Del Mundo shares. “But eventually we made it work amidst all these hurdles because we were all just focused on finishing this album.”
Listen to Walls Might Melt below: