Track x Track: Old Mervs - Give It Up EP
South West Aussie indie rockers continue their meteoric rise as they announce regional tour and release sophomore EP that they took us through, track by track
With a massive year under their belts and having just released their highly anticipated sophomore EP, indie rock duo on the rise Old Mervs are showing no signs of slowing down, having just announced a massive national regional tour kicking off in the first week of 2024.
The Give It Up EP follows on from acclaimed singles Sweetheart and Hey, introducing us to the pair’s new musical chapter of heartfelt, anthemic and propulsive indie rock. Written by singer Dave House and drummer Henry Carrington-Jones during a relaxed writing session by the coast in southern WA, the EP is the result of refining sounds and concepts that have arisen over the last few years.
Henry shares “We booked an Airbnb and just went in fresh. We wanted to just get completely out of Perth and try and lay down something different. It wasn’t ever forced, we just wanted to get together and jam and write together.”
Taking their new EP on the road, Old Mervs have just announced their Comin’ To A Town Near You regional tour, hitting 18 dates from January to March 2024 with shows everywhere from Margaret River to Maroochydore. Having honed their live shows over the years and having supported the likes of Liam Gallagher, The Wombats, Spacey Jane and King Stingray, and playing festivals including Groovin the Moo, Yours and Owls and Splendour in the Grass, the tour will offer the chance for many to see Old Mervs on stage for the first time.
To celebrate the release of Give It Up, the guys took us through the EP, track by track - have a listen and get to know:
This song is a hybrid of three completely different demos that we managed to piece together into one song. We probably spent the most time on it in the studio of all the tracks on the EP, and we went through many versions and tempos before finding the final version. We definitely get attached to how the original demos sound, so it takes time to get three different ideas for songs into an arrangement that we were happy with. The final version was a great mix in the end and we’ve been loving how audiences have been responding to it live.
‘Hey’ came about from a writing trip down on the south coast of West Australia. At that point we were having pretty shit luck at coming up with any songs, and Henry was outside playing around with this chord progression that caught my ears from inside the house. I went straight outside to start singing gibberish along with it and that ended up being the core of the song. The main chorus and verse came from that trip and the bridge came months later from a demo of another completely different song. It’s one of our favourite songs we’ve ever written and released.
‘Leave That’ is basically about the kind of things you have to deal with living in a small, country town. When you have mates in the city and you’re stuck on the farm, you’re often left with very little social interaction. So, you find yourself driving hundreds of kilometres every weekend just to catch up with your mates in the city – only for you to binge drink, eat shit food and drive back home again. All the while, you’re also trying to keep the relationships you have back in town healthy.
Give It Up
‘Give It Up’ is one that we really love to play live, with heaps of repetitive hooks and a big outro. It must seem like we can’t write a song without having a massive outro, but they’re so fun to play and it finishes a song/set with heaps of energy. Thematically, ‘Give It Up’ is essentially an internal dialogue of trying to convince yourself you’ll give up on the dumb and negative thoughts you have about yourself that you just can’t seem to shake.
This track nearly didn’t make the EP. It was recorded about five weeks before we had to deliver the final track list. The song was originally written completely on acoustic guitar and a majority of the finished product came together in the studio while we were recording. So, building this song was a fun and very experimental process as far as recording an Old Mervs song goes. The strings and piano were all a very fresh and new sound for us to be playing around with. It was a super fun process that in the end we feel fits perfectly with the slow and emotional nature of the song.
Stuck In the Middle With You
This is a Stealers Wheel cover that we have had in our set for a very long time, so to be able to record a live version of it is well overdue. Despite it being an older song, it still seems to get a really good reaction live from the younger crew. That just shows that the reach of this song is timeless. Plus, as Henry always says, it’s his “Dad’s favourite song."
Old Mervs' new EP Give It Up is out now via Dew Process