17 Jul 2019
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Mermaidens - Album Review: Perfect Body

10 Aug 2017 // A review by Corinne Rutherford

It was never going to be possible for a band called Mermaidens to slip under my radar. I spotted these three with their fanciful, quirky but supper cool band name one day as I was scrolling through Facebook as you do. First thing which grabbed me was the name, second was the psychedelic blue and orange album cover which drew me in like a magpie and third they have been described as “dream-psych”. If you wave a combination like that in front of me, I will hitting Google faster than you can say Satsuma.

So fate eventually stepped in two days after this supremely rad band from Wellington had entered my orbit, and asked that Mermaidens new sophomore album Perfect Body be reviewed. So choosing not to ignore fate I did.

A Satsuma can be a distinct type of juicy sweet mandarin, colour the vinyl of this album has been released in, or the name of track number six, in this case it is all three and because I am in love with the coloured vinyl trend right now, I am positively drooling over glowing bright orange in Satsuma colour.

The trio of Mermaidens are made up of Gussie on Guitar and vocals, Lily bass and vocals and Abe on drums, together they create haunting raw and original music. Moody, dark, soulful, trippy, Punk Rock with hints of Heather Nova. They seem to be gaining quite a following

There is a quote from the band I found which is the perfect description of how the enticing lyrics came to be. “While writing the album Lily and I had both been thinking and talking about pleasure and pressure. By that I mean then contrast of being in a blissful state, but with an underlying anxiety or uncertainty being present too.” You can hear the blissful state transitioning into intense diverse vocals and hypnotic harsh and vigorous instrumentals. It is in fact a formidable formula the Mermaidens have come across; it is executed with originality, style and a good dose of allure.

Perfect Body is a multileveled rich tapestry of sounds which has also been described as dreamy. I think it is a collection of personal lyrics delivered by a beautifully creative and abstract method.

So if you love vibrant original music and pure genius band names, then don’t casually stroll past Perfect Body, pick it up with both hands and run with it. It is totally worth it.

 

About Mermaidens

The earliest sketches of Wellington trio Mermaidens, follows the story arch of how most bands start; through long-term friendship and bonding over music that shaped their salad days. For Mermaidens, it was an eclectic melting pot of PJ Harvey, Warpaint and Fugazi to name a few.

Together, childhood friends Gussie Larkin (guitar/vocals), Lily West (bass/vocals) and Abe Hollingsworth (drums) form a powerful trinity of unwavering creativity and relentless work ethic. Their time together as Mermaidens has been a fruitful one; a timeline consisting of two critically acclaimed albums, being signed to iconic indie label Flying Nun Records, and a wide range of live supports that include Sleater Kinney, Death Cab for Cutie, Lorde, Mac DeMarco and The Veils.

The internationally acclaimed Perfect Body (which drew a 2018 Taite Music Prize nomination) saw their circle of influence expand to a new, global audience. With its progressive and cinematic stylings on angular post-punk and grunge, Gold Flake Paint said the record “should prove to be one of the summer’s most brilliant long-players," while long-time music critic Graham Reid of Elsewhere confirmed it as “a real listening experience.” Clash Magazine praised the record for its “Noisy, scratchy, enigmatic songwriting.” But perhaps it was God Is In The TV that explained the commanding presence of the record best by saying “I can quite believe that some of their tracks have mystical properties.”

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Mermaidens

Releases

Look Me In The Eye
Year: 2019
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Perfect Body
Year: 2017
Type: Album
O
Year: 2014
Type: EP
Bones
Year: 2014
Type: EP
Demo
Year: 2012
Type: EP

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