FOLLOWING an 18-month stint in the US, Oh Mercy frontman Alex Gow is back home in Melbourne—with a cache of new songs for his just-released album When We Talk About Love.
“I wrote about 45 songs, and came home last Christmas and recorded 12,” he tells the Herald.
The singer/songwriter spent most of his time in US music capital Nashville.
“I found it beautiful to be in the music city as they call it…where song-writing is really celebrated.”
He and fellow band member Rohan Sforcina also spent time in Los Angeles and Portland, near the Canadian border, where they took part in a local custom called “a float”.
Loaded up with inflatables (including one for the beer) they tagged along with a bunch of American mates driving up into the mountains to a river, where like-minded folk were blowing up air mattresses and taking to the water. Beer and banter were shared as they glided through stunning landscape.
“We floated down that river, took us four of Earth’s holy hours. When you got hot you jumped out and cooled down. When you needed to take a wee, you jumped out, held onto the floating thing, looked into the distance, pretending to take in the ‘natural beauty’…while you relieved yourself.
“Man, what a day that was.”
Gow describes his latest album as his most personal to date, influenced by his musical love for Burt Bacharach, Leonard Cohen and The Triffids.
“[It’s] grand, proud and not self-conscious. I accessed all that I’ve learnt, all that I know, and importantly, all that I love, to create this record.”
Gow’s WA tour will be the first for a collection of new band mates, and the band has grown to feature keys, viola, drums, bass and an occasional second guitarist. “It’s important to keep growing as a performer, and I do that by surrounding myself with new musicians,” he says.
Catch Oh Mercy at Mojos North Fremantle Sept 18 and the Rosemount, Perth Sept 19.
by JENNY D’ANGER