Poetic Memory: Oh Mercy (List)

Is Australia the new Canada? When its comes to up-and-coming young indie bands who pride themselves on intelligent lyrics and a multi-layered sound, it sure seems that way. First, I was stopped in my tracks by The Middle East, and now the next Aussie wave is Melbourne’s Oh Mercy.

They’ve gained a lot of attention lately with their album, Privileged Woes. It’s a quirky pop album with expressive vocals that draws inspiration from bands like The Velvet Underground and Dionne Warwick. That’s a large spectrum to cover, but singer Alex Gow explains it all below. Oh Mercy’s Poetic Memory is below.

Here is a list of a few albums that ignited my love for music.

Crowded House – Recurring Dream (Best of): When I was about ten years old, I first heard Crowded House. I vividly remember driving around country Victoria, listening to them on cassette on our way to visit my cousins. I knew all the words and, in a non-technical way, all the changes that made up their songs. When I was about 15, I started listening to them again and found that I still knew every word and loved every second of it. I still listen to Crowded House. A lot.

Dionne Warwick – Singing the Bacharach Catolouge: The second album that I remember loving as a boy was Dionne Warwick singing the Burt Bacharach catalogue. I remember watching my mother cook dinner whilst playing Dionne in the background. I love her delivery, and the arrangements on her versions are my favourites of Bacharach’s songs.

As a teenager there were a handful of albums that made me want to start writing songs. Here’s a list of a few.

The Panics – Sleeps Like A Curse: The Panics are one of Australia’s finest bands. They are from Perth which is in Western Australia. Perth is the most isolated city in the world and has produced heaps of incredible bands and musicians, such as The Drones, The Triffids, The Black Eyed Susans, and Sleepy Jackson. If you haven’t heard any of those bands, check them out, but specifically, The Panics.

The Strokes – Is This It: Finally, people at my school stopped listening to pearl jam.

The Thrills – So Much For The City

Paul Kelly – Any album really: Paul Kelly is every Australian’s uncle.

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: Once again, anything really. Nick Cave is every Australian’s drunk uncle.

So groups like that inspired me to give song writing a crack. And as I got my head around it I discovered the following incredible bands/artists and their albums:

John Cale – Fear
The Velvet Underground – Loaded
Television – Marquee Moon
The Pouges – If I Should Fall From Grace With God
The Triffids – Born Sandy Devotional
The Go-Betweens – Liberty Belle & The Black Diamond Express
Leonard Cohen – New Skin For the Old Ceremony
Neil Young – On The Beach
Townes Van Zandt – For The Sake Of The Song
Rowland S Howard – Pop Crimes
Lloyd Cole & The Commotions – Rattlesnake
Kid Sam – Kid Sam (Check them out!)
The Drones – Halivah
Bruce Springsteen – Darkness On The Edge Of Town

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