Tell me backwoods rural barn and singer-songwriter, and I’m usually bored as hell. But something about this sparse amp-and-guitar offering by Connecticut-based duo Mercies is strangely appealing. For one, they turned a barn into a full-fledged recording studio; for two, they are creating minimal music built upon rather fascinating basic elements.

“In ‘Animals’ and ‘Birds of Prey’, we tracked nails dropping on concrete and used big plastic containers of wire caps as giant shakers,” explains Josh Rheault.

The lyrics on “Animals” echo those of “Tamer Animals” by Other Lives, with both tracks addressing that we, as human beings, are just animals. Measly, measly, animals, lacking uniqueness, though try and try we may.

“For me, a transition and change in my life sparked these lyrics,” explains Rheault. “I was reflecting on a time where I found myself questioning things that I hadn’t questioned before. I had the distinct feeling that I wasn’t in control anymore, and I wasn’t sure what I was ‘supposed’ to be doing. Though it’s kind of a dark topic, I think a lot of times that can only inspire creativity.”

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