Track By Track: Mere Women give us a rundown of their excellent third LP, Big Skies
The Sydney group's latest is a wonderfully honest portrayal of women's experiences.
Released last week, Big Skies is Sydney four-piece Mere Women's third LP, a 12-track journey exploring themes of women’s experiences over generations alongside an honest assessment of life for women in regional communities. Singer Amy Wilson sent us an great track by track for the release, going into some of those themes, but also how each song came to be. Check it out below, and see them launch it live at a few different dates over the coming weeks (full list down the bottom):
I love to walk around Sydney at night alone and listen to music on my way to wherever I’m heading. Sometimes I get spooked and clutch my keys in a tight fist with my biggest, most jagged key poking out between the fingers - just in case. This fear hasn’t stopped me from walking alone at night and I hope it never does.
2. Silver and Gold
This track is like a really depressing version of Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend. The expectations that were placed on many women in my grandmother's generation were stifling. Many women weren’t given the same opportunities as their brothers, they weren’t encouraged to learn, they were expected to be “beautiful” and to be satisfied with being gifted shiny objects as a substitute for possessing any real power in their lives.
I wrote the lyrics for this song while I was living out in the bush by myself in a big old house, all alone. It’s all about taking risks, trying to be a better person and dealing with the consequences of your actions.
4. Big Skies
Another one that was inspired by my time living in regional NSW - the spectacular open sky sunsets and pitch black nights dotted with stars. When I moved away from the city I felt liberated and free but was immediately warned by locals that I better get a dog and be careful at night.
This one was recorded with a room mic in just one take (maybe two) with no overdubs. It’s a series of images; a big storm on the horizon, an ornate ashtray filled to the brim and my grandmother watching Days Of Our Lives from the kitchen in her sunken brown vinyl chair.
Drive was the first song we ever wrote with Trisch on bass and Big Skies is the first album we’ve recorded with bass so this song really set the stage for what was to come. It’s about feeling trapped and desperately wanting change.
When we set out to record this album we wanted to give it a bit more space than our previous records and so we created a series of interludes that were further explorations of riffs in the ninth track on the album - Come Back. Visitor is the only one of these on the digital release but we snuck another one in there for the physical vinyl version of the album.
8. Is This Real?
This was one of the first tracks we wrote jamming at Black Wire Records in Sydney. We were lucky enough to be able to use this record store and hugely influential Sydney venue as a place to come together. Sometimes when we’d forget to lock the door wasted people would pop their heads in and feel the need to comment on our music. Funnily enough they were always very encouraging.
9. Come Back
Come Back is about drifting away from the people that were closest to you but still feeling tied to them and frustrated by that bond. It’s also about considering whether to cut these ties and move on.
We released Numb on a split 7” in 2016 with Melbourne based band Gold Class. It was re-recorded for the album and to me has a whole new feel to it. I think because we’ve been playing it live for a while now, I knew how I wanted the vocals to sound and feel and so we were more particular than the first time around.
11. Tin Rooves
While living in Far West NSW I spent time traveling through some pretty isolated communities that were experiencing hard times because of drought. I spoke to lots of women living on properties about how they were dealing with it all, was told some horror stories about people who weren’t dealing well and constantly overheard conversations about hopeful weather forecasts.
This is Flyn’s pièce de résistance of guitar riffs. There’s something so unique about his writing style and Wanderer captures this to a tee. It was also the last track we wrote for Big Skies and it really brought together all of the different elements of the album in the one track.
Fri 23 Jun - The Red Rattler Theatre, Sydney w/ Marcus Whale + TAFE WRM
Sun 25 Jun - Urge Records, Thirroul w/ Oslow, Carb On Carb, WHITE DOG + Legal Aliens
Fri 30 Jun - The Curtin, Melbourne w/ Terrible Truths + Spit
Sat 8 Jul - Bloodhound Bar, Brisbane w/ 100% + Ultra Material
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