MRCY by Ben Quinton



What the press is saying about MRCY:

“Perhaps the most exciting new act to appear from the UK this year so far” Wonderland

“Unfurls gorgeously…an aura of psychedelic zen” NME

“A rare musical chemistry…smooth and softly experimental” Rolling Stone 

“Triumphant and dynamic…MRCY are quickly landing themselves on every music enthusiast’s radar”Clash

“A passion project that enthuses one to look deeper into their soul and allowing their self-expression to leak out” New Wave

Today, MRCY announces their debut project VOLUME 1 due May 10th via Dead Oceans, which comes alongside a new single “R.L.M.” The hotly-tipped duo are playing their first, sold-out headline show at London’s Lower Third on June 11th and have now added an additional date on Nov 14th at Jazz Cafe with tickets going on sale here this Friday at 10 am local time. Having captivated audiences opening around Europe, they have also confirmed their appearance at this summer’s Great Escape, Green Man, Forwards, and End of the Road festivals.

R.L.M” is an instant-MRCY-classic, both the first song the band ever wrote and the mission statement for a group whose work is as timeless as it is culturally relevant. Fusing Barney’s intricate production with Kojo’s soaring vocals, “R.L.M” is a reminder to find the magic even in the most everyday places (“London rain on the window / I don’t care where we’re gonna go / I’m good with you”). Speaking on the single, Kojo shares, “‘R.L.M’ is essentially a dream-like love song loosely related to someone I was seeing who I used to ride around within London, and how I was always content doing that with her. With my familiarity with Rye Lane and Barney living in Peckham, it felt right using Rye Lane as the point of interest for the tune. But it’s more about London and just cruising around in a car on a rainy night and that being enough for the both of us.” 

VOLUME 1 is a memorable introduction to the world of MRCY. Their vision of Soul through the looking-glass draws inspiration ranging from childhood greats (Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye) to genre-melding modernists like Khruangbin or Sault – “it’s like hearing a distant memory,” Barney says, “but one that speaks to where you are now”. In their debut body of work, MRCY explores both introspective themes and broad, universal questions. The first single “Lorelei” was an ethereal, otherworldly tale of love destined to end in disaster, while, “Flowers In Mourning,” brought together Afrobeats and Northern Soul in an affecting meditation on family and loss. The volume is bound by a striking visual aesthetic made in collaboration with Harris Elliot which warps AI, Adinkra symbolism and British iconography into a look and sound that is already recognizably MRCY. 

Although formidably accomplished for a first project, MRCY have clearly hustled hard to make work in their own voice. Born amidst Huddersfield’s melting-pot culture, Barney has established himself as one of the UK’s most in-demand, eclectic young producers, ranging from an Ivor Novello Award for his long-standing collaboration with Obongjayar to Mercury-nominated artists like Joy Crookes and Olivia Dean. Meanwhile, South London-raised Kojo, earned his stripes in church as well as singing with equally-illustrious homegrown artists like Cleo Sol and Little Simz. They first connected over Instagram during the pandemic, writing “R.L.M” between restrictive local lockdowns in Brixton and realizing that they were embarking on something special. For Barney and Kojo the band is as much about putting yourself first as it is the spirit of compassion, empathy and m(e)rcy that has never felt more needed.

Upcoming Live Dates

5/16 – Brighton, ENG @ The Great Escape 
6/11 – London, ENG @ The Lower Third SOLD OUT
8/16 – Brecon, WAL @ Green Man Festival 
8/31 – Bristol, ENG @ Forwards Festival 
8/29 – 9/1 – Salisbury, ENG @ End of the Road Festival 
11/14 – London, ENG @ Jazz Cafe

May 10, 2024
Dead Oceans

1. R.L.M
2. Lorelei
3. Purple Canyon
4. Days Like This
5. California
6. Flowers In Mourning
7. Powerless
8. Seven Candles


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