Album Review: Mermaidens - 'Look Me in the Eye'


Swimmingly, New Zealand’s Mermaidens release their latest record Look Me In The Eye (Via Flying Nun Records). Like a collaborative reef of organically derived subject matter, Gussie Larkin (co-lead vocals/guitar), Lily West (co-lead vocals/bass) and Abe Hollingsworth (drums) skirt endless echoes of shimmered hand-on-heart emotional awareness alongside bedded youth.

Much like the groups previous releases ( 2017’s Perfect Body and 2016’s Undergrowth ),  Look Me In The Eye is staggered in rhythmic intricacies that rely healthily on a sprawling near-post-punk beat to help drive the three piece into depths of chunky elatedness. 

Opening number Crying In The Office is a freeway ringing example of how satisfying-ly responsive medlied female vocals can feel when given the freedom to pedal uncompromisingly. With just the right amount of bounce to keep morals high despite the namesake subject matter, it’s a fidgety appletiser track that sparklingly balances the candid with levelled dreaminess. Similarly, Sleeptalker is a slow developing bruiser that, beneath the rows of clattered cymbals swells purply-green tides of breathy ache and tense heftiness. 

Mermaidens are not afraid to say it how it is and then talk star signs all within the same sentence. She’s Running and The Cut(“you are a river I am fire”) are both as determined as the next and ever so slightly uneasy if played in broken listens. This might not be a record for Sunday morning laidback breeziness, it certainly doesn’t shy away from rumbled consistency but it is a record that you will want to make time for on repeated occasion. Play in full and in one sitting with the lights on a glowy red setting.

Words by Al Mills

UK Tour Dates
Saturday 21st September - Elsewhere, Margate 
Sunday 22nd September - The Library, Oxford
Monday 23rd September - The Hug And Pint, Glasgow
Tuesday 24th September - Picture House Social, Sheffield
Wednesday 25th September - Old Blue Last, London