‘Oh Mercy’ are recording their 3rd Album. Listen to what is coming up and read what was said about their last Album “Great Barrier Grief”.
OH MERCY – GREAT BARRIER GRIEF
“Listening to Great Barrier Grief is like sailing on a beautiful boat on a calm blue sea under a cloudless sky. Only there’s a shadow moving under the water. Something dark and hidden ready to strip the flesh from your bones before they wash to the shore.” Paul Kelly
Great Barrier Grief is set for release on 4 March, 2011.
“Great Barrier Grief is certainly not an eco-warrior title, but instead a reference to a point in time; a challenge to overcome, or a complex situation,” says Alexander Gow. “It’s meeting an incredibly beautiful person, but having a mental or physical barrier between you.”
With its title more than just a play on words, the second album from acclaimed Melbourne band Oh Mercy promises to be one of 2011’s most exciting releases. Eleven tracks of evocative acoustic pop Great Barrier Grief was inspired by the Australian ‘sound’, and our way of life: the classic songs and songwriters who’ve soundtracked our lives. Timeless in feel, Great Barrier Grief is a confident, purposeful album.
Eventually, with 30 songs under Gow’s arm the album was ready to take final form. Enter one of America’s most respected producers, suggested to the band by a mutual friend: Mitchell Froom.
Having recorded albums with the likes of Pearl Jam, Elvis Costello and Sheryl Crow – not to mention recording Crowded House’s seminal self-titled debut – Froom was the perfect choice to help guide Oh Mercy in their next endeavour. Gow decamped to sunny Santa Monica, working out of Froom’s home studio and whittling the 30 tracks down to a final 12.
“Mitchell was and is a wonderfully generous, kind and talented man,” says Alexander. “I consider myself privileged to have worked with him, along with his half-man/half-wizard engineer David Boucher. I think we made a very good album of simple arrangements, lots of acoustic guitar, lots of words, some marimba, and a healthy amount of congas.”
Two tracks from the record, ‘Keith St’ and ‘Stay, Please Stay’, will already be familiar to triple j listeners. Live favourites on the road, the songs have been given a brand new life as captured by Oh Mercy and Froom on the new longplayer.
Inspired by the sort of classic Australian albums which shape our history, Great Barrier Grief marks a whole new horizon for Oh Mercy, and the songwriting journey of Alexander Gow. Paul Kelly, arguably Australia’s most respected songwriter, agrees, recently naming Oh Mercy in The Age EG as a new band who inspires him to write.
“Making this record, it’s a different mentality,” says Alexander of Oh Mercy’s latest effort. “We know people are going to hear this album, whereas with the first we thought maybe it was just going to be my mum and a few friends. That mentality changes the way you write a little bit – it’s more exciting. We wanted to make a record with someone who isn’t simply interested in pop music, but the integrity in pop music… and I think we’ve done that.”
Thankfully he did eventually find some time to talk about Oh Mercy’s forthcoming album Deep Heat by giving triple j the world premiere of lead single ‘Drums’.
Gow said the new track, along with the rest of the album, was heavily inspired by songs from the 70’s and 80’s and his late-night party playlists, ” I’m the guy at the house party with the iPod… so it’s no surprise that the album sounds like it’s coming from that direction.”
But like the album artwork that accompanies the new release, Oh Mercy’s new music also has a visual purpose.
“I just love seeing people respond with their bodies to music. I care about words as well so when I’m playing those kind of songs [from the 70’s and 80’s] sometimes I wish they had tried a little harder with the words. Why can’t you have this really groovy music and care?”
Oh Mercy will be heading out on the road in support of the new release this September and October which see them visit every state and territory the country has to offer. Check out their full itinerary below:
Fri 21 Sep The Zoo Brisbane
Sat 22 Sep Joe’s Waterhole Sunshine Coast
Wed 26 Sep Heritage Hotel Wollongong
Thu 27 Sep Cambridge Newcastle
Fri 28 Sep ANU Bar Canberra
Sat 29 Sep The Standard Sydney
Sun 30 Sep Clarendon Hotel Katoomba
Thu 4 Oct Settlers Tavern Margaret River
Fri 5 Oct Norfolk Hotel Fremantle
Sat 6 Oct Bakery Artrage Perth
Thu 11 Oct The Gov Adelaide
Sat 13 Oct Karova Lounge Ballarat
Thu 18 Oct Republic Hotel Hobart
Fri 19 Oct Bended Elbow Geelong
Thu 25 Oct Hi-Fi Melbourne
Sat 27 Oct Railway Club Darwin