Following a successful mini tour of Aotearoa, Mermaidens share the music video for 'You Maintain The Stain' (#1), the a-side of their 7" split single You Maintain The Stain / Cut It Open, out now on Flying Nun Records. See below for full list of UK and European tour dates, just announced this morning.
'You Maintain the Stain', a stern letter to “The Man” that resembles a big, subtle middle finger to the messed up power structures in this world. The stain refers to the deep-seeded microaggressions that so many experience. The stain is all that is bad.
“It's about being assertive and having attitude - thus defying gendered expectations that women should handle situations in a calm, kind way,” explains bassist/vocalist Lily West.
Blow by deathly blow, “The Man” gets dragged through a hot sludge of heavy bass-filled corridors, overcut by Gussie Larkin’s angular, off-kilter guitar lines - a topical gnawing of teeth fresh from the kill.
“You won’t look me in the eye, you’re afraid I see you. You can’t hide. Your things cast a light… I see through you, I see right through...” sings West in a cold, certain voice over a series of hard hitting sonic bludgeons, emphasized by Abe Hollingsworth’s dynamic work on the kit.
This is Mermaidens louder, more crushing and propulsive than ever. They are in their element, and at their most raw and confronting.
Stream You Maintain the Stain / Cut It Open here:
Spotify | Apple Music | iTunes
Listen to newly released B-side 'Cut It Open':
The earliest sketches of Wellington trio Mermaidens follows the story arch of how most bands start; through long-term friendship and bonding over music that shaped their salad days. For Mermaidens, it was an eclectic melting pot of PJ Harvey, Warpaint and Fugazi to name a few.
Together, childhood friends Gussie Larkin (guitar/vocals), Lily West (bass/vocals) and Abe Hollingsworth (drums) form a powerful trinity of unwavering creativity and relentless work ethic. Their time together as Mermaidens has been a fruitful one; a timeline consisting of two critically acclaimed albums, being signed to iconic indie label Flying Nun Records, and a wide range of live supports that include Sleater Kinney, Death Cab for Cutie, Lorde, Mac DeMarco, and The Veils.
The internationally acclaimed Perfect Body (which drew a 2018 Taite Music Prize nomination) saw their circle of influence expand to a new, global audience. With its progressive and cinematic stylings on angular post-punk and grunge, GoldFlakePaint said the record “should prove to be one of the summer’s most brilliant long-players," while long-time music critic Graham Reid of Elsewhere confirmed it as “a real listening experience.” Clash Magazine praised the record for its “Noisy, scratchy, enigmatic songwriting.” But perhaps it was God Is In The TV that explained the commanding presence of the record best by saying “I can quite believe that some of their tracks have mystical properties.”
Come 2019 and the trio are set to release a body of new work. The first split single 7” "You Maintain the Stain" / "Cut It Open" was released in April on Flying Nun Records. The band are in a new space. We are in darker, more confrontingly uncomfortable territory.