Grandmothers, grief and obsessive love: the poignant stories behind Mere Women’s new LP

Full of love, sorrow, pain and joy, Fourth album of Mere Women, Romantic concept, released today.

Sydney post-punk band Mere Women captivated listeners through three expansive albums, with their touching brand of ‘abrasive post-punk pop’. The quartet received critical acclaim for their third studio album, Great heavens, in 2017 and now their highly anticipated fourth album, Romantic concept, is here.

Prior to the release, the band released two singles from the album, the track “Romantic Notions” followed by “Someone Loves You”. Largely influenced by women’s experiences, songwriter and lead singer Amy Wilson shared some of the deeply personal anecdotes behind the tracks on the album.

“The album is largely inspired by family stories of love, heartache, pain and joy. It’s an ode to all the complex and amazing women who have raised me and helped me become strong and resilient, ”she says.

Charms

Some time ago my grandmother gave me a stack of her mother’s diaries. She wrote in her journal every day and the entries cover all the great events that have happened in her life, interspersed with sketches and poetry. The newspapers follow complicated relationships with her parents and siblings, her crushes and dreams, falling in love, being a mother and ultimately losing control of her life.

Towards the end of the journals, his entries become less consistent, short, and irregular. They lose all the joy they had when she was younger and it’s heartbreaking.

Many elements of the album were stimulated by these diaries, but in particular ‘Charms’ is inspired by my great-grandmother’s deep love for her partner.

Romantic concept

A boy once wrote me a letter in his own blood. At the time, I thought it was super gross, but I still kept it for centuries because a letter written in blood seemed precious in one way or another. I was pretty impressed with the color of it on the page. The messy writing looked brown – not the crimson that I would have liked.

This childhood story came to my mind when we were writing ‘Romantic Notions’ and I think it captures the song’s themes, obsessive love and control well. This is the first time I can remember someone trying to manipulate me in this way.

Throughout my life, I have seen people close to my heart subjected to overbearing or inappropriate “acts of love”. I am still skeptical that these acts have hidden motives, and I think they are a great way to cover up control and repression. It is really hard to stand up to someone who claims to be devoted to you because they are probably also blind to their own true motives.

Heights

Another track inspired by grandmothers – from the other side of my family this time.

My grandmother was a beautiful soul who adored nature and was an extremely talented potter. She suffered from a serious mental illness and traces of that have passed through my family.

“Heights” is about making the decision to try to treat mental illness, rather than enduring it. For many of us there are ways to improve life and I feel privileged that my grandmother showed me that. It can be so difficult to make these kinds of big changes and there are always consequences – without the lowest lows, it’s harder to reach the highest levels.

WYG

This one is inspired by the power dynamic between couples and the effect it can have on their children. A family member once explained to me that it can be difficult to look in the mirror when you remember someone with whom you have had a complicated relationship. Family resemblance can be a constant reminder that you are biologically connected to someone who has done things you are not proud of or who has hurt the people you love most.

Romantic concept was released today (Friday March 5) via Poison City Records. More info here.


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