What the press is saying about MRCY:

“Unfurls gorgeously…an aura of psychedelic zen” NM

“When it comes to debut singles, it simply doesn’t get much better than this!”Wonderland

A beautiful piece of modern soul” Clash

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

MRCY shares their second track “Flowers In Mourning” via Dead Oceans. The duo introduced themselves recently with the soulful, psychedelic “Lorelei,” which has picked up early support in the US across KCRW, KEXP, and Apple Music 1. MRCY also announces details of their inaugural live shows, with a headline date at London’s Lower Third on June 11th (tickets go on sale Friday at 10AM), as well as performances for this year’s Great Escape, Forwards, Green Man, and End of the Road festivals. 

Widescreen but intimate, “Flowers In Mourning” pays tribute to MRCY’s musical and cultural roots whilst ripping up the rule book from one of the year’s most exciting new projects. Blending a propulsive, Afrobeats rhythm nodding to Kojo’s Ghanaian heritage with the influence of dub and Northern Soul, which soundtracked Barney’s own upbringing, the energetic release of “Flowers In Mourning” puts a positive spin on an affecting meditation on love and loss. 

Introducing “Flowers In Mourning,” Kojo comments: “The opening voice is my Mum singing a song that my Grandmother wrote for my family as a kind of fun nursery rhyme to sing to the kids. All my family know it. My Grandmother is no longer with us and when I think about her I feel a mix of joy and sadness. ‘Flowers In Mourning’ is also about the loss of things that kept you at peace, and it reflects on the state of our surroundings that contribute to feeling like shxt mentally.’”

MRCY are made up of producer Barney Lister and vocalist Kojo Degraft-Johnson. With work that is as classic in feel as it is contemporary in concern, their vision of Soul through the looking-glass draws inspiration from the timeless musical warmth of Marvin Gaye to the genre-melding, modern sensibility of Khruangbin and Sault. Arriving with a fully-formed vision, MRCY has nonetheless 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 and sang with equally-illustrious homegrown artists like Cleo Sol and Little Simz. Each, in their own way, were seeking more MRCY in their lives.

Having first connected over Instagram during the pandemic, MRCY met up in Brixton between lockdowns, allowing the band’s sound and bond to deepen. The first single ‘Lorelei’ previewed MRCY’s soon-to-be-signature mix, setting commanding vocals and effortless, at times ethereal production over songs designed to challenge and transport from the everyday (“it’s like hearing a distant memory,” Barney says, “but one that speaks to where you are now”). Flowers In Mourning’ is the second preview of the band’s upcoming project, bound by a striking visual aesthetic made in collaboration with Harris Elliot, which warps AI, Adinkra symbolism and British iconography into the MRCY motif. MRCY’s music reverberates with individual perspectives, but also reminds how those shared experiences of graft, grit, and abandon have always been able to bring crowds – or a new band – together.

single artwork


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *