EMERGE's Calen Le Couteur recently caught up with Brisbane singer-songwriter Jordan Merrick to talk about his sophomore EP Songs From House Arrest and the launch tour.
C: What can you tell me about your latest single Gypsy Diver?
J: It's a bit of a different one for me, it's definitely one of the most ambitious songs I've gone into the studio to record. Before this single, I had pretty much only done songs in the acoustic, folk kind of style from the first EP (In Colour) so coming in with a goal to record it with a band was ambitious, I'd never played it with a band before.
C: How much time did you spend working on the song?
J: A whole day in the studio, it might not sound like a lot of time but it was a good 10 hours of just sitting there, going through, re-listening and doing new parts.
C: What can we expect from your upcoming sophomore EP Songs From House Arrest?
J: It's a bit different to In Colour, that EP was made up of songs I'd written over the past year or two that were sort of how I felt represented the solo style that I really like playing whereas Songs From House Arrest it sort of came out of nowhere. I injured my neck late last year and had to spend a lot of time at home and at the doctors doing rehab so I had a lot of time at home. One thing you can do when you've got nothing to do is write, so I spent a bit of time writing some new songs and poetry.
C: Where did you record the EP?
J: I went back into the studio with James North who I recorded the first EP with, he's based in St Lucia in Brisbane. He does all the producing and is an incredible session musician as well which is really helpful when you're wanting to add random sounds to the songs sporadically.
C: How was the recording process when compared to the first EP?
J: It was a lot more collaborative with James, for the first EP all the songs had been written.
As I said they were fairly old songs so I'd played them all heaps before we went into the studio. Whereas this one I'd barely played him any of the songs but Travellin'.
C: Which song on the EP is your personal favourite?
J: That's a hard one, I'd probably have to go with Kiss or Kill which is the last song on the EP.
It's a bit of a long one, it's one of my favourite songs that I've written.
C: You'll be launching the EP at shows in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and the Sunshine Coast, what can we expect from those shows?
J: They should be really good, the biggest show will probably be the Brisbane show obviously being my local haunt if you will so I've got a lot planned for that. I'm going to be doing a lot of work with some other musicians on stage as well so it'll be a really nice show.
C: What's the best gig you've ever been to and why?
J: My favourite gig would have to be when I saw Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds a couple of tours ago, they played at Riverstage with a child choir and it was magnificent. It's hard to explain just how good it was, I've seen him four or five times now but it was just such an amazing experience. Just the way the songs were performed and having that choir behind him for certain songs it was just unbelievable.
C: Who in your opinion are the most consistent musicians in Queensland?
J: I really like what Asha Jefferies is doing at the moment, one thing I really love about her music is how it keeps developing. I think it's a really dangerous thing to do as a musician to go and release music over the course of years and not really develop your sound.
C: What have you been listening to recently?
J: I've been listening to a lot of Charles Bradley recently and Vallory June. A bit of Bob Dylan as well, I've been listening to Blonde on Blonde a bit because I saw Old Crow Medicine tour recently and they were doing this Blonde on Blonde tour where they covered the Dylan album to celebrate 50 years since its release.
C: If you only had three words to describe your Songs From House Arrest EP, which three words would you use?
J: Very, very different (laughs).