19 Jun 2024
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Mermaidens

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The earliest sketches of Wellington trio Mermaidens follows the story arc 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/co-lead vocals), Lily West (bass/co-lead 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 three critically acclaimed albums, releasing music on the 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 band kicked 2021 off with a bang, announcing a nationwide tour and releasing the slow-burning anthem Soft Energy – the video for which was exclusively premiered by Ensemble magazine. The single and tour come off the back of a 12-month period that saw the band host their first ever Mermgrown festival (to a sold out crowd, no less) and gain a nomination for Best Alternative Artist at the Aotearoa Music Awards. In addition to this, West took home the Aotearoa Music Award for Best Album Art (Look Me In The Eyes).

Where Soft Energy pivoted towards the world of pop, 2019’s Look Me In The Eyes saw Mermaidens louder, more crushing and propulsive than ever. Dancing in the lively afterglow of their sophomore album Perfect Body, a new flame burned. At the heart of Look Me In The Eyes lies the thematic exploration of female voices, as co-lead vocalists Larkin and West (with dynamic support from Hollingsworth) expose embedded motifs of exterior masks, human relationships and power dynamics with unflinching fervour. The voices and perspectives of both front women give shape to the record with equal footing, creating a dialogue around female collaboration and friendship, in an ode to the complexities of the human experience.


Photo Credit: Sarah Burton

Band Members:
Gussie Larkin (guitar, vocals)
Lily West (bass, vocals)
Abe Hollingsworth (drums)

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  • Wellington

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