Look Me in the Eye
(Flying Nun Records)
words by paddy kinsella
Look Me in the Eye, the third album from New Zealand trio Mermaidens, bristles with pent-up energy, sounding forever on the point of combustion, a lit match held tentatively over spilt petrol. Post-punk would be an easy way to describe it, yet they navigate their soundscapes like high-wire climbers, the songs blessed with a jazz-like quality that can see them take any direction they please.
Indeed, opening song ‘Crying in the Office’ has a seismic key change not too dissimilar from Frank Ocean’s ‘Nikes’, it’s unstoppable verge into math-rock suddenly cutting the song in half, a switch without warning. Then there’s ‘The Cut’, which has overtones of The Savages before beautifully unfurling into a kaleidoscopic Cocteau Twins-like chorus. Standout track ‘She’s Running’ is brilliantly fractious, a winning combination of tumbling drums and slime-infested riffs, while penultimate song ‘Best to Hate the Man’ stomps ever-so-slowly, a spectre bracing itself for attack.
A funding grant enabled Mermaidens to record in a state-of-the-art studio. With the goalposts of what they could achieve widened, the Wellington group entered that space with a clear vision and created Look Me in the Eye, a dazzling and hypnotic feat.
The album is released this coming Friday (September 6th) – via the ever-excellent Flying Nun Records – but GFP extremely pleased to share an exclusive full stream of it here today. Dive in below right now.
You can buy the album here
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