Merci, Mercy is an Indie-Pop Maverick

Merci, Mercy is an Indie-Pop Maverick

Merci, Mercy is an Indie-Pop Maverick

The artist from Down Under, taking the genre overground. V Premieres her latest single, ‘Fall Apart’.

The artist from Down Under, taking the genre overground. V Premieres her latest single, ‘Fall Apart’.

Text: Dante Silva

Australian singer/songwriter merci, mercy debuted ‘Fucked Myself Up’ just over a few months ago. In the time since, it’s garnered millions of streams, acclaimed throughout the twittersphere. Her lyricism, an intimate portrayal of self-destructive tendencies, is entirely idiosyncratic—though she revels in the dissonance. 

And that’s fine, because, just as the digressive generation she’s part of, merci is as anomalous as they come. At only 19, she has a remarkably distinct sense of self, fully cognizant of her own contradictions. She’s adolescent with an edge, harmonious yet subversive, authentic insofar as she’s able to discern the inclinations of her own psyche. Even her Instagram bio acknowledges “My biggest flaw is that im indecisive as fuck :)”. 

Her music embodies the same claustrophobia: merci’s (albeit limited) discography doesn’t quite align itself within existing genres. It’s infectious pop, yet the ‘pop’ is in scare quotes, far removed from its monochromatic connotations. It’s raw, and, perhaps more importantly, it resonates. 

There’s something to say for the precedent: indie-pop has long been a nebulous genre, only recently garnering mainstream attention. There’s been the classics, from Australia's Hot Records to New Zealand’s Flying Nun, of the twentieth century, making the subculture more palatable. Merci isn’t too concerned with the iconography. 

Nor does she have some acoustic lodestar; she’s her own, intoxicating presence, which her latest release solidifies. ‘Fall Apart’ echoes the more melancholic tone of ‘Fucked Myself Up’, all the more alternative. It’s an open apology letter (of sorts), a pre-emptive non-disclosure agreement, the fine print to be read before the relationship.  

"'Fall Apart' references the cynical version of myself," merci, mercy shares. "Where I question the point in starting something with someone when I know it’s just going to end. In my mind I think I’m going to get hurt, so will it be worth it? It’s an apology and explanation to any future relationship that could be harmed by my cynical mind."

There’s a French saying, Mieux vaut prévenir que guérir (it’s better to prevent than to heal). Merci, somewhat of a Francophile (or an adjacent term), seems to know all too well. She’s a critic to rival the likes of Harold Bloom, only looking inwards. It is, after all, better to prevent the facade of intimacy than to heal from its aftermath. 

Or that’s how the song goes, at least. “I’m gonna hurt you, I’m sorry but I can’t help it,” merci, mercy confesses. “So why would we start when I know we’re gonna fall apart?” There’s burgeoning questions left unanswered. What’s to come of a love left unrequited? Why partake in something so temporal?  

Merci, mercy doesn’t have the answers (she’s 19, after all). Though, there’s a moment of resolution towards the end: “But if we have to, we can share our pain for a bit”. We’re only offered the one line of refuge from the piece’s centralized anxiety. Perhaps that’s the point. What merci describes is a disorienting, inconsistent affair, the manifestation of her own apprehension. It’s entirely irrational in a way that makes complete sense to anyone facing self-doubt (read: everyone). 

She has a knack for navigating palpable tensions, and translating them into refined, guitar-led melodies. And we can’t wait to see what she does next. 

Watch the lyric video for ‘Fall Apart’ below, with animations by Bianco Bosso.

Credits: Image by @sheisaphrodite

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