EP Walkthrough: merci, mercy details her debut EP, no thank you, no thanks
The 2020 export eyes a bright and well-rounded future ahead, if her debut EP is anything to go by.
2020 has been a mammoth year for newcoming Australian pop acts, and someone amongst the upper echelon of them is merci, mercy. The Sydney-based 19-year-old is someone we hadn't even heard of at the start of the year, and despite everything that could've potentially held her back, she's consistently thrived - elevating herself with every move and turning into a newcoming pop star of the future with everything she's put out.
It's something that all kicked into gear with the release of her debut single Fucked Myself Up, an introductory moment that saw merci, mercy's break-out align itself from the get-go; the track quickly turning into one of the year's most successful local releases (not bad, considering it was her debut single). From there, she's only furthered herself into the stratosphere of Australia's pop future, gifting the country's pop circuit with bursting, high-flavour moments of excellence time and time again over the last ten months, to the point where now she's someone we couldn't imagine the year without.
On her newly-minted debut EP no thank you, no thanks, it all comes together - and the results are really quite incredible. It's a sensational six-tracks that take us into the minds of merci, mercy as both a person and a performer, reflecting on her collective high points and low points through bright-eyed hooks and rich instrumental backbones worked alongside some of the country's best and most esteemed collaborators. It's something that places her into the spotlight just as much as it does her skillset specifically; a release that takes you inside of her world and finishes with you having a proper idea of what merci, mercy is all about, as well as the trials and tribulations that got her there.
Throughout the course of no thank you, no thanks, merci, mercy is quick to make herself known. The opening Tequila & Lemonade - "the longest of all songs on the EP to write" - battles with the feelings of being "trapped in your own head" through fluttering synth and merci, mercy's spiralling vocals, which navigates the single's peaks and valleys just as much as the song does the same for her own life. Fucked Myself Up is its follow-up both in a logical and metaphorical sense, depicting the alcohol abuse she used to treat those aforementioned feelings from the song before it.
From here, the record only furthers itself, and as that happens, you get the sense that merci, mercy is going only deeper into herself too. Fall Apart contrasts relationship self-sabotage - and its eventual end - with soaring hooks that feel capture the essence of merci, mercy's musicianship at a high peak, while the final three tracks - Something You Like, Wonder What It Feels Like and The Very Very End - offer moments of subtle reflection with a more low-key sound when placed comparatively to the rest of the EP.
As the EP continues, it goes further and further into merci, mercy's mind, and as she explains, there's a common thread that links many of the EP's songs together. "It turns out all the songs are to do with relationships," she says. "With other people, with alcohol, with my anxiety, and with myself. It was quite a therapeutic process for me to write these songs and I hope they might connect with people who have been through similar experiences."
On a surface level, the record is a brilliant snapshot of a growing pop market that's becoming more and more saturated with remarkable talent on a near-weekly basis, and beyond that, merci, mercy seems to be amongst the most genuine; her debut EP not afraid to grapple with the low points as much as it does the high points, regardless of how bright and colourful its sounds may be. It really stands out from the crowd, and as 2020 finishes and we move onto a year that hopefully treats the international music market a little better, we have a feeling that merci, mercy is only going to grow.
On Friday, merci, mercy will finish the last of her four EP launches at Sydney institution Oxford Arts Factory, which will also be live-streamed for everyone playing at home (you can register for the live stream here). In the meantime, however, dive into her brilliant debut EP below, alongside a track-by-track walkthrough that sees her go deep into its meaning and themes.
1. Tequila & Lemonade
This song was the hardest to write because at. First, I didn’t know where it was going to go. I wanted It to be a fun song. I later realised it didn’t make any sense at the time because I wasn’t drinking for the fun of it; I was drinking to feel something other than what I was feeling sober. I would drink to get my mind of what was going on in my head.
I consider Tequila & Lemonade the calm before the storm, which is Fucked Myself Up.
2. Fucked Myself Up
This song was one of the first I wrote with Edwin White and Joel Quartermain. It is about my dependence on alcohol. I went through an unhealthy relationship with alcohol; I mean I’m still going through it. I needed to write out what was going on so I could work it out for myself. I also decided to write it after a really big night out I had where I realised while sitting in a toilet cubical I had a problem. I felt so lost in that moment and so unimpressed with myself. This song was real therapy for me.
I knew that I needed to make the song sound happy and bouncy in order for people to actually listen to it and take in what I’m saying. Then maybe people would realise they were doing the same and try to help themselves.
3. Fall Apart
Fall Apart is all about my cynical mind and how I would self sabotage any type of relationship before it could even begin because I didn’t enjoy the idea of being hurt. I also couldn’t understand why anyone would have wanted anything with me, to begin with anyway. It's a, “It's not you, it's me” song, but this time it really is me, and I’m not just being nice.
4. Something You Like
To me, Something You Like is the most empowering song I’ve ever written. It's about hardship but also getting through it by yourself. Abusive relationships are a very hard thing to talk about. I had noticed a lot of people that I love the most in my life somehow get themselves in a bad situation and the people around them judging them so harshly. When in reality, when you are in love with someone or just love someone, it is hard to see what is wrong. Also, sometimes people show you a different side to them when you first get together. Then their true colours shine.
In the song I’m trying to say, you shouldn’t judge someone for their decisions as it is their own and sometimes the only person who can help you is yourself. It doesn’t make you any weaker if you have been in this type of situation. I had been in a friendship where they had changed me completely as a person, made me value myself and others less, and the people around me were the first to notice. I didn’t pay attention to any of what they were saying cause I was in it, and I was feeling good. The way I got out was just finally realising one day what was going on. I hope from writing this song it could help someone in some way. It’s my favourite song I’ve ever written; it is empowering yet very vulnerable.
5. Wonder What It Feels Like
When I wrote this song, it was a very lonely time in my life. I had been in Sydney a year and still hadn’t made any friends. I started to imagine daily what it would feel like to be loved and to love. I felt like a wreck who couldn’t be adored, and that’s where this song came from.
6. The Very Very End
I wrote this song after my best friend at the time told me she let me walk home by myself drunk as fuck because the guy she liked was feeling horny. I felt so unsafe around her after that. I was blackout drunk (my fault) had gotten kicked out of the bar, the last thing I remember is getting kicked out, I have no idea how I got home.
Sometimes the expectations you put on your friends is not realistic. People are not you; they will not always treat you the way you would treat them. Most of the time it's nobody’s fault, you are just two completely different people. For me, the incidence made me realise I needed to reevaluate our friendship, and I shouldn’t put my life in her hands. I don’t want to be her friend, but I wish her the best.
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