BAND MEMBERS: Josh Erwin- Guitar + lead vocals, Troy Harris- Basses, Jenna Mobley- Fiddle + harmony vocals, Matt Pendrick- Guitars + harmony vocals
Depending on the lore, Mermaids are saints and saviors, or they’re muses and murderers. Josh Erwin is hosting them all at the Mermaid Motor Lounge. Delivering songs of damning relief as well as happy despair, Mermaid Motor Lounge is releasing their debut album, “Fits and Starts,” an opportunity for Erwin to perform churning and bumping rhythms along with atmospheric and dreamy melodies.
There is a cohesiveness to this collection of songs on “Fits and Starts.” The local coloring of reverbs on electric guitars and fiddles have just as an important of a role as the percussion. The melody lines lie easily on a bed of guitar, bass, and background vocals. These songs have a comforting familiarity, but there are still some unexpected musical shifts that keeps a listener on his toes. The theme of this album was to make the music dynamic by working with non-standard rock band instrumentation. By only relying on acoustic guitar, upright bass, vocals, electric guitars, fiddle, and percussion instruments it allowed the production to be more thought out. Oftentimes, nontraditional percussion adds great flavors to music that is not captured by a standard 4 piece drum kit. Nonetheless, a drum kit was used on the track, “The Preacher Tampered With The Radar”-- too tempting to pass up a 28" marching kick drum thundering through the back beat.
Nine songs were recorded at Standard Electric Studios by Damon Moon, who co-produced the album alongside Josh Erwin. Josh (guitars and vocals), Troy Harris (basses), Jenna Mobley (fiddle and background vocals), and Colin Agnew (percussion) performed all the music on the album. Damon was at the helm of Tascam M-600 serial #001 helm, turning knobs on the Echoplex EP-3 and Space Echo RE-201 [for all the fun stuff], and supervised vocal mic selections, compressors, and other dynamic effects.
At first, Mermaid Motor Lounge was purely a challenge to showcase a live-show based around Erwin’s own material on his own alongside Harris. The experimentation with new songs performed with only guitar, vocals, and bass on stage was too seductive to leave in the hypothetical. The sustain-elements of electric guitar and fiddle shape and form the music’s sonic-space, while the percussion carries the songs along.
Together, Josh and Troy have played thousands of shows and bear copious on-stage experience. With their powers funneled into a full band experience, Mermaid Motor Lounge performances are fueled by an instinct that's been building up over years and years.