Oh Mercy – ‘Stay Please Stay’

Jan 29th, 2011
| posted by: Jonno |
Uncategorized | 1 Comment

God damn, this band are good. Building off the back of their AMP-conquering debut, Privileged Woes, which has been on high rotation round these parts ever since I saw the guys supporting Ben Folds nearly two years ago, Oh Mercy have been drip-feeding some amazing tunes ahead of their new release (out locally in two months). First came the fantastic ‘Keith St’ a song so well-crafted I thought they’d set the bar too high too early, but now they’ve done one better with ‘Stay Please Stay’, a single that bodes extremely well for their impending album. People in the places I work have been talking about frontman and chief songwriter Alexander Gow (pictured) in hushed tones for quite a while, but the gears have shifted upwards in the last six months and Gow, the face and frontman of Oh Mercy has certainly been living up to the hype. His band have been touring like Energizer bunnies, they wrote one of the on the Finn brothers tribute album He Will Have His Way and generally have been working pretty hard to become this country’s new favourite band without having to write throwaway bullshit in the process.

‘Stay Please Stay’ is a quintessentially Australian-sounding song. It’s a song that any of our expats, whether they’re in London or Buenos Aires, will instantly identify with. It’s the cool breeze after a relentlessly hot summer’s day, where all your thoughts seem more hazy than you remember them being and desire is pretty much the only objective. Aside from the emotional impact, this tune has the added advantage of being a meta-song; there’s three different hooks which are equally as brilliant as each other. From the xylophone-augmented, angular riff of the first few bars through to the gorgeous guitar-drenched chorus and to the bridge beyond, there’s a lot going on here and it’s all beautiful. Oh Mercy are writing songs to last, an increasingly rare feat given how fast most of us go through the Ipods which play them. Moreover, it seems like Gow’s tribute to the Finn brothers makes perfect sense, he’s shaping up to be somewhat of an heir to their particularly worthy throne. It’s not fair to call him the next Neil Finn, complementary as that may be, because the focus and contexts are different. But in terms of sheer likeability, melodic intelligence and natural skill, there’s a lot in common there.

For my money, the real gem of Oh Mercy lies in the little details. It’s in the four 2/4 bars that connect an unlikely chorus back to the verse, which cleverly moves from major to minor leanings without having to make a massive dive through ugly chords to get there. By taking musical risks like that while managing to put together a song that is inherently whistle-worthy, Oh Mercy earn not only OAD’s reverence, but respect. Whoever had the brains to sign them first (EMI, from memory) must be continually patting themselves on the back. This is one group who will be around for a long time, even though their ascent to awesome has only just started. Wherever you are, whatever you’re listening to, turn it off and treat yourself to this. Every fiber of your being will thank you.

Oh Mercy – ‘Stay Please Stay’

Oh Mercy, mercy me .

Tags: Alexander Gow, Ben Folds, , , oh mercy
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1 Comment:

That’s actually exactly how I would describe Stay Please Stay. I was trying to figure out how, and the words xylophone-augmented and angular riff are PERRFECT. Muchos gracias amigo. :)


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