Mermaidens

Share new single "Sunstone" - taken from album Perfect Body due out on Flying Nun on 4 August


"Sunstone" is the new single from New Zealand band Mermaidens, taken from the forthcoming album Perfect Body, which is due out on 4 August via Flying Nun. 
 
The band's Gussie Larkin goes on to explain; "Sunstone is made up of three contrasting sections, gradually becoming more and more brutal as the song progresses. I didn't want the song to have a 'hook' that it returns to - instead I wanted to create an unpredictable journey: full of time signature changes, evolving guitar textures and imposing vocals. It's a not a song you can just put on in the background! The lyrics explore a few different zones of my mind - from the desire to reassure an anxious friend to the dynamics and complexities of a relationship. For the 'chorus' I settled on the words "100 floating beings come down!" simply because I needed something fun to yell - and I also love the imagery of that. 'Floating Beings' is also a nod to our first album cover, which is an illustration of a vibrating floating body. Sunstone finishes up with a mantra-like chant that is still an earworm for me: "Wish I could loosen/Wish I could lose/Wish I could loosen under my skin."

Reveal retro video for "Satsuma"

 

New Zealand band Mermaidens share the new video for their single “Satsuma”, taken from the forthcoming album Perfect Body, which is due out on 4 August via Flying Nun. Mixing eye-popping colours and stunning visuals with an enjoyably retro aesthetic, the video features band members Gussie Larkin and Lily West in a fantasy world, where everything is just a little off-kilter – from the toxic greens to taxidermy on the walls and a real life rabbit. The song is dark and brooding and a little sinister, about the struggle of an aging relationship. Drawing inspiration from bands like Warpaint, Fugazi, Exploded View and Sleater-Kinney, Mermaidens’ sound offers a mesmerising dip into the realms of post-punk and psych.
 
The video was filmed and directed by Ezra Simons, with concept and styling by Gussie and art direction by Lily. It was shot in Gussie’s parent’s 70’s house in Wellington, NZ, which had been done up in the 80’s by a big nightclub owner. As she explains;“There’s lots of sleazy features like a grey leather ‘conversation pit’, black marble faux fireplace and of course a sauna and indoor pool. We were really lucky to have access to such a cinematic environment.” Her parents had amassed quite a collection of 60s space age furniture art and clothes, and Gussie also had spent years collecting vintage clothing, books, accessories and props, which were used to their full advantage in the video.
 
The video references the representation of women in the 1970s and the many archetypes of what women are expected to be. As Gussie says; “I love all the adverts and editorials in magazines from that time – some of which we feature in the video. There’s something grotesque about these women who are supposed to be sexy, domestic and intelligent at the same time. Their outfits are really great though!”

 

The song exemplifies the band’s sound, with warm harmonies and dreamy, hypnotic lyrics, entwined with dark and moody riff-based melodies. Although the song is about bad relationships, where it can be hard letting go of a life built together, it ends optimistically with instructions or a soothing mantra to talk about the good things and not get stuck in bad dreams. The haunting video reflects this, as Lily explains; “As with our songwriting, we like to take people on a journey that they can’t necessarily predict. Haunting? Perhaps it’s the direct gaze or eerie domestic familiarity.”


Mermaidens burst onto the New Zealand scene with their widely acclaimed debut EP O in 2014 and went on to release their debut album Undergrowth in 2016. As a result, they were offered dozens of shows and international support slots, which led to them being picked up by Flying Nun Records, who release the band’s first international album, Perfect Body, on 4 August.
 
Perfect Body features many of the familiar characteristics of the Mermaidens’ sound, with twinkly, reverb-laden guitar lines, rich vocal harmonies and vibrant drums. They have expanded on these sounds, bringing in even more dynamic elements, building richer melodic layers and a wider range of guitar textures, as they explore different levels of dissonance. Each song bursts with energy and variety, with contrasting light and dark, and they’ve left space for mellow and brooding instrumentals underpinning a powerful vocal melody.
 
Mermaidens pride themselves on an engaging and polished live performance. Their impressive portfolio of support slots and sold out shows, attests to the charm and excellence of their live show. In just a few years Mermaidens have sold out major venues in New Zealand as well as supporting acts such as Death Cab For Cutie, Sleater Kinney and Mac Demarco.
 
As a band who have grown dramatically since their inception, both creatively and musically, Mermaidens are undoubtedly a band to watch very closely, and are set to make a similar impact on the global music scene as they have at home in New Zealand.
 

Mermaidens

 Announce signing to Flying Nun and release new album Perfect Body on 4 August

Share new single "Lizard"! 

Mermaidens are a three-piece outfit from Wellington, New Zealand, who are renowned for their intricate and unique songwriting, boldly raw but increasingly refined studio production, and a hypnotic live synergy that leaves audiences enchanted. Their ound offers a mesmerising dip into the realms of post-punk and psych, while the voices of Gussie Larkin and Lily West embrace warm harmonies and dreamy, hypnotic lyrics, entwined with dark and moody riff-based melodies, underpinned by Abe Hollingsworth's fluid and dynamic percussion. Their new album Perfect Body is due out on 4 August via Flying Nun.

 

Mermaiden's entrance onto the NZ music scene was extremely strong following the releases of their widely acclaimed debut EP O in 2014 and subsequent album Undergrowth in 2016. As a result, they were offered dozens of national shows and international support slots, which led to them being picked up by Flying Nun records, who release the band’s first international album


Drawing inspiration from bands like Warpaint, Fugazi, Exploded View and Sleater-Kinney, Mermaidens formed in 2013, having been friends in high school. Lily and Gussie had nervously shown each other songs they’d written before collaborating together. The name Mermaidens seemed to fit well as it’s fun and a little bit silly, yet dark at the same time. As Gussie explains; “I guess that’s us in a nutshell.”
 
The band self-released their first EP O in 2014, which was a raw and enthralling DIY offering, recorded at drummer Abe’s parents house. There was a focus on capturing the ‘live’ element of the songs, which has always been very important to Mermaidens’ music. The tracks Wonder and Cold Skin were re-recorded for their debut album Undergrowth, as they were important pieces in the puzzle and the band felt they deserved a more polished and refined approach. The LP was released in 2016 and received critical acclaim. 
 
Perfect Body features many of the familiar characteristics of the Mermaidens’ sound, with twinkly, reverb-laden guitar lines, rich vocal harmonies and vibrant drums. They have expanded on these sounds, bringing in even more dynamic elements, building richer melodic layers and a wider range of guitar textures, as they explore different levels of dissonance. Each song bursts with energy and variety, with contrasting light and dark, and they’ve left space for mellow and brooding instrumentals underpinning a powerful vocal melody.
 
Thematically, the album is about growing up and developing their art, their minds and their bodies as they mature. Their lyrics are like a mantra to themselves. As Gussie explains: “While writing the album Lily and I had both been thinking and talking about pleasure and pressure. By that I mean the contrast of being in a blissful state, but with an underlying anxiety or uncertainty being present too.” The sun is also a recurring theme on the album - the feeling of craving the sun and being rewarded with the blissful sensation of its warmth on your skin, which ties back to the pleasure/pressure references throughout.
 
Having shied away from placing themselves front and centre in the artwork for previous releases, the new album marks a change for Mermaidens. They’re keen to command the listener’s attention rather than lulling them into dream space, so they decided to have a powerful image of themselves on the album cover. “The image still has a supernatural element to it but it feels very personal,” explains Gussie.
 
Mermaidens pride themselves on an engaging and polished live performance. Their impressive portfolio of support slots and sold out shows, attests to the charm and excellence of their live show. In just a few years Mermaidens have sold out major venues in New Zealand as well as supporting international acts such as Death Cab For Cutie, Sleater Kinney, and Mac Demarco, and Windhand.
 
As a band who have grown dramatically since their inception, both creatively and musically, Mermaidens are undoubtedly a band to watch very closely, and are set to make a similar impact on the global music scene as they have at home in New Zealand.
 

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