Premiere: Merpire makes a return with a striking new single/video, Dinosaur
After dominating 2020 with her Isol-Aid and Wilson's Prom projects, the Melbourne favourite finds a new label home with ADA, and drops a tune to celebrate.
Header image by rcstills.
Since her arrival as Merpire back in 2017, Melbourne's Rhiannon Atkinson-Howatt is someone we've constantly kept a close eye on. As Merpire, she's blossomed into a favourite in the saturated Melbourne indie-pop space, sharing stages alongside names like Julia Jacklin and Angie McMahon. All the while, she's been sharing intimate bursts of indie that comfortably sit alongside names like those she's supported, capturing the same emotional potency - and wonderful songwriting that brings it to life - as people like Jacklin and McMahon, some of Australia's now most-acclaimed.
This brilliant songwriting is something that she's evolved through everything she's released since her debut; her 2018 Endless Chatter EP expanding it out to a four-track duration, while singles since have branched further into pop songwriting than ever before, occupying the space amongst her productions with bold choruses. Even in 2020 - a year where everything seemingly fell apart - Merpire continued forwards, playing a part in the launch of Isol-Aid while teaming up with close friend and collaborator Feelds for Wilson's Prom, a new project and self-titled six-track EP that brought a high school prom to life.
Now, she's got her eyes on what's next - and it's some of the most exciting stuff we've heard to date. Today, we premiere her new single Dinosaur, a charging debut of Merpire's future not just as a constantly-furthering songwriter, but also as a new signee to ADA, her new label home. Dinosaur is a natural extension of her past work that keeps moving forward, charging into up a heavier alt-pop lane as roaring melodies veer amongst her pointed vocal, which despite its heavier boldness, still carries the same introspection and reflection that Merpire is synonymous with.
"Dinosaur is inspired by a line in the first Jurassic Park movie when Sam Neil’s character says 'If you stay still, they can’t see you'," she says on the single, which was worked alongside James Seymour. "Whether it’s a fact about the T-Rex or not, I always wished this could be the case with humans - if you don’t feel like seeing anyone or you want to smoke bomb from a social interaction you can just freeze and become invisible. Oh no, it’s just the opposite."
There's also an official video clip too, worked on alongside long-time collaborator and Melbourne visual wizard Nick Mckk. It tapes into the nostalgic wave that Dinosaur crafts from its inspiration from Jurassic Park, taking you underneath her trampoline as she dives into the life of an early-2000s teen girl and every cringe-and-not-cringe facet that includes. It really builds into the intimate commentary the single aims to emphasise, while also further deepening the colourful rush you get amongst the track's liveliness.
Merpire is a real wonder and Dinosaur is a step-up at an incredibly exciting stage of her career, and you can take a dive into it all below, as the single and its video premieres on Pilerats now: