No: Carrier – California

San Francisco-located electro-pop noir duo no:carrier released a 4-song EP titled Ghosts Of The West Coast in late spring that consists of covers of California-related tracks.

Each cover is a collaboration between no:carrier’s founding members Chris Wirsig (songwriter, producer) and Cynthia Wechselberger (vocalist) and a selected guest artist. It was Chris and Cynthia’s aim to display the darker side of the California Dream on these covers and that shines through on Melissa Harding’s rendition of Belinda Carlisle’s original song California.

Melissa is a powerhouse singer who has previously worked with Mötley Crüe and 30 Seconds To Mars. She gives a polished shine to the grittier electronic backdrop of her cover. The song opens with a foreboding measured drum beat that continues and mixes with low, ponderous piano and squiggly synth notes, and tinkering percussion.

Melissa sweeps in smoothly, but expressively on the verses, then grows in emotive intensity, belting out on the chorus that she’s walking away from the scene in Los Angeles – away from the earthquakes and “…the sharks and the chardonnay…”. Those words may not be penned by Melissa, but she puts a vivid spin on the original tune’s warning about the dangers of living the fastlane lifestyle in L.A.

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