Earlier this year, we described Sydney newcomers The Nagging Doubts as evidence that Australia’s current pool of musical talent is burgeoning. To digress this even further, Melbourne is the next Aussie destination in line to offer up a new exciting export and they go under the name of Merpire.
Led by artist Rhiannon Atkinson-Howatt, Merpire’s first single arrived in 2017. By the end of the following year, she had sold out her biggest headline show to date and supported other sought-after native contemporaries Julia Jacklin and Angie McMahon.
With her upcoming debut album Simulation Ride due for release on July 23, “Village” is Merpire’s latest single to be shared from her forthcoming album. It follows her earlier release this year “Dinosaur” and tackles themes that are both close and personal to Rhiannon.
In a press release, Rhiannon said of “Village”: “I used to have a day job punting people around the lake on a boat in the Royal Botanic Gardens in South Yarra. There’s one island we’d pass on the route nicknamed ‘Bell Bird Island’ where the bell birds were farming an insect called a psyllid and protecting it from other birds eating it – they had a symbiotic relationship.”
She continued, “This loosely inspired the idea of it taking a village to nurture someone. Sometimes I would get so caught up in self-doubt that I forgot to see what qualities I had that other people might love me for. But I’ve worked hard on building my confidence, telling myself through this song that it really does take a village to love someone.”
Merpire’s laid-back sonic approach is laced with introspection throughout “Village.” Traces of Julia Jacklin and Soccer Mommy echo in her vocal melodies while sharp bursts of gritty energy in the choruses offer a nice dynamic edge to the track.