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LIVE REVIEW: Jordan Merrick, Mesmerizes @ The Beared Lady

Updated: Jun 20, 2021

Credit: Christopher Sockhill

Live from Brisbane's 'Bearded Lady' a packed intimate crowd embraced post-covid freedom and were delighted to a night headlined by one of Australia's finest folk artists in the quietly brooding, Jordan Merrick. We had the chance to speak with Jordan after the show and was curious about his songwriting influences.

Merrick: "My Dad's always loved Dylan (Bob) and i couldn't stand him as a kid. His voice is gravelly, who the hell is this guy?, this cranky old man"

Having started songwriting at 13, it wasn't until Merrick truly heard Bob Dylan around that time and felt he had much to learn as a songwriter.

Merrick:"I was making emo-core, metal-core, My Chemical Romance, Bullet for my Valentine, then a friend introduced me to Dylan and i was blown away, I listened to the lyrics and thought 'wow i'm such a s**t songwriter, that's when i realised i wanted to work on my songwriting, when i really heard him, that's when i knew what a real songwriter looked like"

A tantalizingly maracrabe vocal performance on 'Hades in the Attic' swelled the venue into an evoking uproar. It's in these more intimate venues when artists like Merrick, whose lyrics deserve attention truly shine. I asked Jordan about the inspiration for this contemplative record.

Merrick:"it's funny that song... sometimes with songwriting you sit there and just work on a song, you get the lyrics, you write one verse, you really think on the next. It wasn't like that with 'Hades in the Attic' , it was a really weird writing process.

I wrote the melody to it and looped it, pretty well just hit record to see what I could come up with lyrically, banged it in one go and had to go back and figure out what I said, sometimes you get a bit lucky with song-writing.'

Having embraced the isolation burdened to us by COVID, Merrick has productively spent this time writing and recording in his home studio, with a new EP on the way, and another already written.

A palpitating energy filled the room as the juxtaposition of Merrick's unassuming presence is offset by his command of the stage and control of himself as a performer. With his blues guitar comfortably in hand, lyrics as poignant as a cranky Dylan, Merrick impressed with stoic performance after stoic performance. His latest single 'Lonelier Than You' gave the room a sense of being in the United States south, a swanky, ready made radio banger.

Closing out the set with an aggressively alluring performance with 'I Don't Belong' , the brooding closer from 2019 EP 'Night Music' left an ominously hopeful air as the night concluded.

Speaking on his upcoming releases, Merrick said, "I've finished album number two, the follow up to 'Night Music', as far as a release date, that's a wait and see at the moment, I'd say November if all goes to plan"

I thank Jordan for affording me the time and am eagerly awaiting his next project. If you've the opportunity to see a Jordan Merrick performance, align the stars yourself and be there, as I will certainly be checking for upcoming shows and releases from whom, in my view, is one of Australia's most talented folk artists to date.

Check out his single below and future tour dates here

Follow Jordan Merrick | Instagram



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