PHOTO CREDIT FRANCES CARTER
Recorded at The Surgery and produced by Samuel Flynn Scott (The Phoenix Foundation), ’Soft Energy’ is the sparkly, scream-at-the-top-your-lungs single 2021 has been waiting for. It’s the same Mermaidens you know and love, only this time, they’re turning it up to 11 – more energy, more distortion and more in-your-face melodies.
The song challenges listeners to mull over the idea of “soft energy” – a side of ourselves that so few feel comfortable embracing, but that could open so many more doors and conversations if we just let it in.
Guitarist and co-lead singer Gussie Larkin says the lyrics serve as “a response to interactions with people who put on a tough and detached exterior that, I can see, isn't doing them any good.” “It’s about seeing through that macho persona and asking the person to act with softness and vulnerability instead.”
The accompanying video – which was directed by Gussie – emerged from the idea of ‘softness’, and what that might look like on film.
”I dreamed about creating a pink fur-covered room, a giant pillow fort, eating elaborate soft-serve ice cream and having the three of us emerging out of a foam-pit. But when you’ve got one day to shoot and you’re spending most of the budget on 16mm film, you have to hold back a little. So we took some of those
ideas and mixed them in with an ABBA-worthy Top of the Pops inspired band scene. The cherry on top was a giant clamshell which was made by Ella Bates-Hermans and Grace Acheson,” she says.
”I think this is the most Mermaidens video we’ve made. It’s retro-inspired, it’s a little tongue-in-cheek and I think (I hope) we’ve struck the delicate balance between badass and glamorous!”, she adds.
The new single comes off the back of a summer spent in the studio, that saw the band road-test an assortment of new material that they’re itching to share with fans on the remaining dates of their Aotearoa tour.
The tour kicked off with Mermgrown in Pōneke on February 20, with the remaining tour dates taking the band to Ōtautahi, Ōtepoti, Oamaru, Tāmaki Makaurau (Mermgrown) and Ahuriri during March and April.
”The three of us have spent the past couple of months making a racket both in our practice space and in a recording studio. We weren’t exactly expecting it but, these noises turned into songs! And now we get to play them live to the best people in the world,” Gussie says.
”We’re also looking forward to hitting up all the op shops, eating southern cheese rolls and trying to be as tourist-y as a rock tour allows.”
Tickets for both Mermgrown and the Soft Energy tour are on-sale now via Undertheradar.
SOFT ENERGY TOUR DATES
Thursday March 11 - Christchurch - Cassel's Blue Smoke
Friday March 12 - Dunedin - Dive
Saturday March 13 - Oamaru - Settler Theatre
Saturday March 20 - Auckland - Mermgrown Festival (whammy/wine cellar/backroom)
Saturday April 3 - Napier - Paisley Stage