Brisbane based Mermaid Avenue released their debut album “Temptation and Half the Truth” in 2018. Having been on the music scene since around 2015 this was to be their signature stamp or introduction if you will to what they had to offer and displaying how much they’d grown since inception. The album itself garnered praise from reviewers and has been longed lived to reaching this point in 2021.
‘Throughout the album, Mermaid Avenue glide through a unique blend of indie-rock, alt-country, and folk to deliver a sound that belongs entirely to themselves’ – Happy Mag
“Overall, this is one of the best alternative rock debut albums I’ve heard for quite some time. Peter Clarke is a songwriter who has honed his craft, supported by a group of musicians that bring his songs to life in a synergistic way. Most importantly, you can imagine thousands singing along and, with such a wide array of influences, the creative well won’t be running dry anytime soon. Highly recommended, especially to alt. rock and country fans. VERDICT = 8.9 out of 10” – The Faulkner Review
As we know, all good things must come to an end to make way for newer exciting projects and with that and in signing off on the album “Temptation and Half the Truth” Mermaid Avenue give us a look at one last track ‘Jealousy of Heart’.
I caught up with Mermaid Avenue’s leading man Singer/Songwriter Peter Clarke and Bassist Mark Egan…..
Let’s revisit the track first, ‘Jealous of Heart’ can be found on Mermaid Avenue’s debut album ‘Temptation And Half The Truth’ what’s it about?
PETER: Jealous of Heart is the darkest song on the album. It’s essentially about a guy who is possessive and jealous within a relationship but has enough self-awareness to know it’s wrong and feel guilty about it. I’ll admit it was inspired by a moment of similar feelings I had once but then as all songwriters do I took that and added a healthy dose of poetic licence to expand upon it lyrically.
I personally was transported to my inner Nick Cave with the vocals on this track…Influence??
PETER: I don’t try to write songs with specific genres in mind. Often in this band what I may think the style of the song is will turn out completely different when the band start playing and developing it. A case in point is this song. It actually started as a kind of slow dark country/Johnny Cash doing Nine Inch Nails kind of thing but with higher vocals. Upon the suggestion of one of the guys I dropped the register channeling my inner Nick Cave/Ian Curtis and from there it morphed into a kind of 80s goth rock number once the band got their teeth into it. It reminds me of bands like ‘Joy Division’, ‘Sisters of Mercy’ or early era ‘The Cult’.
What genre are we looking at here given that Mermaid Avenue specialize in a few?
PETER: Hmmm..Goth rock would be the closest.
Do you think the video portrays the context of the song well? What elements in particular? Must be something to do with that handsome fella in the lead role, right?? Actually, who is that??
PETER: The video was put together by our bass player and resident videographer Mark Egan. I think he captures the vibe of the song pretty much spot on. He obviously listens to the lyrics. haha – sorry to break it to you but it is just an actor from some filmstock that Mark obtained to tell the story. (But he does look a bit like Gav – drummer from Speedracer)
Are we viewing the whole band as choosing the creative elements of the video or was it an individual?
PETER: Whilst Mark put this together, he always presents it to the band before it goes any further.
What was the hardest element in the video to pull it all together?
MARK: Putting together a story that reflected the song content. My lyric videos for the band to date have been light-hearted, positive vids. This was something else entirely. There was also the risk of getting too dark with it.
The video for ‘Jealous of Heart’ kind of closes out ‘Temptation and Half the Truth’…soooo…What’s in the works for Mermaid Avenue beyond this?
PETER: Yes, ‘Jealous of Heart’ will be the last song from ‘Temptation & Half the Truth’ we push out to the world. Even though I am proud of that album, I have been itching to get to the next one especially as the band has developed over recent times. There have been quite a few changes in the band since ‘Temptation & Half the Truth’ (& the world for that matter!). Bassist John Doyle and guitarist Darren Madeo left the band for personal reasons. Thankfully, Mark Egan (bass) and Michael Kearey (guitar) slipped in very easily and were then followed by Casey Lee on keys, and Chris Wong on guitar. Now that we are a six-piece our sound has expanded considerably and there is more flexibility and textures available to flesh out the songs. During the line-up changes and COVID lock downs I wrote quite a few songs that will form the core of the upcoming album “Sugartown”. We will be releasing the first single “Turn the Page” on March 26 and we are planning to release a steady of stream of material from the album over the coming months prior to its planned release in August/September. Following that we hope to get out there and play some shows – provided nothing else bad happens in the world!
Why don’t you sum up the new ‘Mermaid Avenue’ in a few words for us and then we’ll take a look at the video….
PETER: The ‘new’ Mermaid Avenue is like the second car you bought. The first one will always have a special place in your heart but this one is all leather interior and has more horsepower under the hood.
And there we leave it! With a final reflection of the album, a bit of goss on what we can expect going forward and of course the new video ‘Jealous of Heart’…
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