New Music

Merpire announces debut album Simulation Ride and shares lead single “Village”


Melbourne’s Merpire has been creating buzz in the indie scene, and has gained the attention of NPR, PAPER, CLASH, and more. She shares new single ‘Village’ with an outside looking in video, plus news of debut album Simulation Ride out 23rd July via Warner’s ADA.

Lyrically, ‘Village’ tackles self-doubt, comparison to others and the realisation that you can’t be everything and everyone to one person – “It takes a village”. It is a slice of observational lyricism that Rhiannon Atkinson-Howatt, aka Merpire has become known for – taking seemingly simple ideas from the real world and studying their complexities and intricacies. Like first single ‘Dinosaur’, ‘Village’ is an acknowledgment of Rhiannon’s own battle with anxiety and confidence, but more importantly the growth that comes from facing that head on.

On ‘Village’ Rhiannon speaks on what inspired the song: “I used to have a day job punting people around the lake on a boat in the Royal Botanic Gardens in South Yarra, giving them a guided tour of the lake. There’s one island we pass on the route we nickname ‘Bell Bird Island’ because the bell birds pretty much own it, very territorial. They’re basically farming an insect called a psyllid and protecting it from other birds eating it. They have a symbiotic relationship. The psyllid produces a sugary coating like a cocoon and the bellbirds lick this sweet treat, not eating the whole insect so that the psyllids keep producing the sugar.”

She adds, “This loosely inspired the idea of it taking a village to nurture someone. Sometimes I would get so caught up in self doubt, seeing qualities in people that I didn’t think I had, that I forgot to see what qualities I had that they might love me for. I constantly put pressure on myself to be happier, more energetic, more sociable. I didn’t see myself as an interesting person without that or without my music and when I was feeling tired or withdrawn I’d beat myself up about it, not feeling worthy of company and thinking I was just a boring person who happened to be a musician (and punt people around on a boat in the gardens apparently?!). This affected my relationship. I didn’t believe someone could be in love with me when there seemed to be way more interesting people out there.”

The single comes with a video directed by Nick Mckk, and shows the observational concept from Merpire, that from the outside things may not look like what they seem.

Merpire first burst onto the scene back in August 2018 when she signed to indie management company Fright Night Music and showcased at Bigsound, each step garnering an incremental following of avid fans in her wake. By the end of the year, Merpire had sold out her biggest headline show to date and had supported some huge Australian acts including Julia Jacklin, Angie McMahon, Didirri and Olympia. 

Otherwise known as Rhiannon Atkinson-Howatt, her impressive and predominantly female live line-up, continue to captivate audiences far and wide with powerful, versatile performances that are an emotional roller coaster to behold. Stay tuned for more to come from Merpire.

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