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    Ash & Sand
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    I'm Easy
On his forthcoming album Infinite Youth, New Zealand artist Merk examines the blurry line between adolescence and adulthood, and all the clarity and mess that accompanies that blurring.
This is a record that thrives on a certain simplicity of rhythm, melody and lyric, and is compelled by contrast: pop songs influenced by art music, an album about adulthood that reflects heavily on what it is to be young, and a sonic world that is both expansive and deeply intimate.
Merk is the solo project of songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Mark Perkins, which began when Perkins recorded 2016’s Swordfish (winner of Best Debut at the Taite Music Prize). His debut album showcased a knack for melody, based around guitars strummed to catchy perfection. A producer and multi-instrumentalist, Perkins has an understated, commanding presence, a playful intensity, as well as an ability to simply let go. Lyrically, he treads a line between earnest, vulnerable, and knowingly tongue in cheek: songs that began in irony mutated into sincerity, and vice versa.
His approach to balance and contour is inspired as much by the American minimalists and those who followed them (Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Arthur Russell), as it was by pop songs that transcend the basic, disregard the complex, and zero in on the simple: Infinite Youth seeks to find where ABBA, The Beach Boyss, The Carpenters, the Japanese City Pop of the late 70s and 80s, and those American minimalists might meet.


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