Release date: October 1
If you’ve kept your ear to the musical underground in the last year, you’ve certainly noticed this fascination with ’80s and early ’90s R&B threading its way through indie electronica circles. Nowhere is this trend more apparent than on the Glasgow-based MermaidS’s “One” EP, which takes house beats, New Wave, Italo Disco and R&B and weaves it into a catchy whole.
Every song sounds familiar in an odd sort of way—as though you’ve heard it way back. Well, that’s because you probably have, albeit in a different form. The effect is similar to Chromeo’s aesthetic, but not as knowing and humorous, and not built from the ground up. Make no mistake, though—MermaidS take their sound and craft seriously. Their clever use of samples is clearly house-related, and mirrors the work of Daft Punk in technique.
For the track “Mutual Key Finding,” MermaidS tore apart and reconstructed Change’s 1985 track “Mutual Attraction.” It’s an effective strategy.
“Breaking down the tunes and rebuilding them in a new, unique and personal shape is very satisfying, possibly the greatest joy of the edit,” notes the group. “You add drums, bass, take it away, put it back, trawl through other tracks, up and down, back to front, and then BAM. The hook. Once we have found it we just roll, allowing the other influences that surround us have their say on the song.”
The technique more or less works on the middle two tracks “Deep In It!” and “Can’t Resist,” though they’d likely sound better on the dance floor than in the bedroom, despite the clear production value. MermaidS rise to greater heights on EP closer “In Search Of Space,” partially lifted from a Toto track, which the group appropriated for its “sheer bombast.” Without a doubt it is the highlight of the EP and signals a future sonic aesthetic that MermaidS could plum.
Preview the EP below.