Mermaidens – vocalist/guitarist Gussie Larkin, bassist/vocalist Lily Paris West, and drummer Abe Hollingsworth – are a Wellington psych-rock trio making dark and dreamy sounds that are slightly unsettling… and completely captivating.
Their second album, ‘Perfect Body’, builds on the multi-chromatic sounds and tones that the trio created on 2016’s ‘Undergrowth’. This album has plenty of charms, including the sinuous guitar and vocal lines of single Lizard and the punctuated guitar chords, and ice-chilled vocals of Satsuma.
Dark, reflective, Lynchian lyrics that centre the songs are all part of the allure. In parts Gothic, alt-rock and grunge, the album defies genre definition but is a confident statement of changing time-signatures, airy vocals belying the gravitas beneath them, and powerful rhythms and performances.
Assured production and intricate arrangements add to the album’s aural attraction too – Mermaidens are planning for ‘Perfect Body’ to appeal to a wide audience.
They have created a record that reveals much on repeated exposure, but still packs a punch on first listen – the smouldering Fade is proof of that.
Arresting from start to finish, ‘Perfect Body’ is an intense affair – hazy, dream-pop melodies sit on top of taut musical structures that are balancing on the edge of discomfort. A tenuous place to be, but rewarding all the same.