Mercies – “Animals” Video Premiere (w/ Interview)

We, as human beings, are just animals. Measly, measly, animals, lacking uniqueness, though try and try we may.

Tell me backwoods rural barn and singer-songwriter, and I’m usually bored as hell. But something about this sparse amp-and-guitar offering by Connecticut-based duo Mercies is strangely appealing. For one, they turned a barn into a full-fledged recording studio; for two, they are creating minimal music built upon rather fascinating basic elements.

“In ‘Animals’ and ‘Birds of Prey’, we tracked nails dropping on concrete and used big plastic containers of wire caps as giant shakers,” explains Josh Rheault.

The lyrics on “Animals” echo those of “Tamer Animals” by Other Lives, with both tracks addressing that we, as human beings, are just animals. Measly, measly, animals, lacking uniqueness, though try and try we may.

“For me, a transition and change in my life sparked these lyrics,” explains Rheault. “I was reflecting on a time where I found myself questioning things that I hadn’t questioned before. I had the distinct feeling that I wasn’t in control anymore, and I wasn’t sure what I was ‘supposed’ to be doing. Though it’s kind of a dark topic, I think a lot of times that can only inspire creativity.”

Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/she) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer with semi-nomadic tendencies. Much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. They are the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE, Interim Managing Editor of South Seattle Emerald, and Co-Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. They also previously served as the Executive Director of the interdisciplinary community hub, Northwest Film Forum, where they played a key role in making the space more welcoming and accessible for diverse audiences.

In 2017, Vee released the narrative short film, Searching Skies — which touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States — and co-organized The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. 2022 sees the release of their next short film, Reckless Spirits, which is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature film.

Vee is passionate about cultural space, the environment, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. They also regularly share observational human stories through their storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE!, and are pursuing a Master’s in Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship under the Native American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota.

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