This Album Changed My Life: Melanie Dyer on ‘Red’ by Taylor Swift

12 May 2022 | 12:14 pm | Mallory Arbour

To get to know singer-songwriter Melanie Dyer a little better, we asked her to tell us about an album that has changed her life.

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Melanie Dyer burst onto the country-pop scene in 2015 with startling vibrancy. Her EP Lifetime was both a stunning artistic blueprint and a tearaway chart success. The title track and video spent several weeks in the CMC Top 50 with singles Busy Doing Nothing and My Stupid Mouth cracking the Australian Country Music Airplay Chart Top 10.

Her debut album Fresh was released in 2017, with the title track reaching #1 hit on The Australian Official Country Hot 50 chart for 5 consecutive weeks and the accompanying video #1 on CMC Australia. 

Her follow up single, Save My Cents, also shot to the top of both radio and CMC charts and was a Top 10 finalist in the ‘International Song writing Competition’ in 2018. In 2019, Melanie’s radio hit, Memphis T-Shirt took her straight to mainstream airplay chart success. The song went on to receive an APRA nomination for ‘The Most Performed Country Work’ in 2021.

As well as her current radio single Cheap Moscato – which reached at #15 on the Countrytown Hot 50 Country Airplay Chart – Melanie recently teamed with fellow country-pop artist Caitlyn Shadbolt on the light-hearted and undeniably catchy new single, Dumb Decisions.

On the collaboration, Melanie explains, “I’ve been great friends with Caitlyn for a long time and we’ve made so many memories on and off the road together.  It was so much fun writing and recording this song. We ended up having to record our vocals separately because we couldn’t stop laughing in the studio.  The song is about not taking life too seriously, reminiscing on the good times and making memories with your best friends.”

To get to know Melanie better, we asked her to tell us about an album that changed her life.

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Melanie Dyer on Taylor Swift’s Red:

Red by Taylor Swift is an album that completely opened my mind to the world of country/pop fusion. Being in my late teens during the Taylor Swift Red era was significantly influential on my approach to songwriting. It opened my mind to pushing genre boundaries and being creative with concepts, production and lyrics. 

It was 2012 and I was fresh out of high school when this album dropped. I had already purchased her previous albums and been to her Fearless and Speak Now concerts. I think this album ‘changed my life’ because I was at an age where I actually understood songwriting and production and I was navigating that crossover sound as an artist too. 

Red is one of those timeless albums. For a listener, it’s fun, emotive, catchy and relatable. For a songwriter, it’s innovative, crafty, personal, descriptive and edgy.

The album features undeniable pop masterpieces like 22, We Are Never Getting Back Together, and I Knew You Were Trouble produced with pop genius Max Martin and Shellback, mixed alongside All Too Well, a raw and elaborate 5 (now 10!!!) minute collaboration with Liz Rose. The title track is clever in the way she correlates colours to emotions, exploring the spectrums of intensity between happiness and anger, much like the album in its entirety. Then there’s the collab with Ed Sheeran on Everything Has Changed – I mean, name a better pop duo!

I remember buying this physical album, unwrapping the plastic and putting it in my Hyundai Elantra CD player, red P plates and all, driving around my hometown in Inverell and having the realisation that this is how I want to make people feel with my music. 

Red will forever be one of my favourite albums."


For more of our This Album Changed My Life series, go here.
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