Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Indie-pop band melotheory set to release new single ‘Breathe’

Charlotte Keene
Melotheory members Austin Pedersen (left) and Patrick Insull (right) perform “Breathe” in their Austin apartment on Wednesday. Gearing up for an album release, the duo cited early Coldplay and Cage the Elephant’s “Cigarette Daydreams” as musical inspiration for the single. Insull said that Melotheory intially began as a fun distraction from his engineering schoolwork, but now the duo plan to pursue music full-time.

Music has long been a form of therapy for Patrick Insull, who often wrote songs in the stairwell of Andrews Residence Hall. He said he found that his now-bandmate Austin McGinnis felt the same. In one of their first sessions playing together, Insull and McGinnis played what they immediately identified as their first single, “Breathe.”

“I thought it was that good at the time,” said McGinnis, a College of Fine Arts alumnus. “We started producing that (song), and then within a few months, we realized we were producing enough songs for an album.”

The two filled out the group with a keyboardist, bassist and drummer in October 2023 to form melotheory, an indie-pop band set to release their first single on Friday. Insull said sharing his music initially intimidated him.

“The music, for me, was very therapeutic, and I didn’t want to share it. It seemed way too vulnerable,” said Insull, a mechanical engineering and Plan II senior. “We were working through the production of (“Breathe”) and then… we just added more and more. Then one afternoon (McGinnis was) like ‘We should just make an album together… Shake my hand, do you agree to do this?’”

McGinnis said melotheory got their start in a different way than most student bands by working on an album before beginning to perform live.

“We had that (album) in our back pocket as our foundation,” McGinnis said. “We tried to market that, but no one knew who we were, so we had no one to market it to. We’ve since spent a whole year getting to know people, showing face, getting ourselves out there, and now we have put a band together that can play that album.”

As the band began to perform their songs live, Insull said he became more open to how audience receptions influence their music.

“The first couple shows, I had the wrong mindset where it’s like, ‘Oh, don’t pay attention to what the audience is doing, only pay attention to what feels right to you on stage,’” Insull said. “I realized that it’s really a conversation between the band and the audience.”

Drummer Julian Jaco said playing with the band provided a total switch-up in his life.

“Right before (joining the band), I just graduated high school, just working here and there, just kind of finding my foot in the door,” Jaco said. “Once I started drumming for them, …  it was this whole new life.”

As the band prepares to play their single release show, doubling as a black light party, Insull said the band often tests if a song can stand on its own when stripped back to just vocals and guitar.

“For this single ‘Breathe,’ I always thought that it was probably the best song that I had written up to the point that we’re making this album, so it already passed that test,” Insull said. “But how to capture that intimacy… and the emotion of that more ‘singer-songwriter-y’ song and… like you’re in a whole world created by this song — (it’s) been a struggle, but I feel like we’ve finally hit it and now we’re ready.”


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About the Contributor
Rylie Lillibridge, Senior News Reporter
Rylie is a neuroscience and journalism double major from New Braunfels, Texas. Currently, she covers the research beat as a senior reporter. She was previously a general reporter during Summer 2022. In her free time, she likes going to hear live music.