Old Mervs
Old Mervs | Credit: Andrew Briggs

Old Mervs: The Reflective and Introspective Songs That Inspired ‘Get Better’

For their debut EP, Get Better, regional Western Australian duo Old Mervs teamed up with producer Dave Parkin (Spacey Jane, Tired Lion) to craft a six-song release reminiscent of contemporary acts Hockey Dad, Skeggs and Sam Fender. Tracking for the EP was done at Perth’s Blackbird Sound Studio, but the bulk of the songwriting was done in a farmyard shed built by Old Mervs’ Dave House and Henry Carrington-Jones in Kojonup, WA.

Get Better includes the singles ‘Where I Go’ and ‘Be There’, the latter of which was hailed by Triple J’s Declan Byrne as “another fresh air breathing beauty by Old Mervs.” In celebration of the record’s release, House and Henry Carrington-Jones give props to the introspective and reflective songs that inspired them on Get Better.

Old Mervs: Get Better

Briston Maroney – ‘Deep Sea Diver’

This track really resonated with us, in particular the line, “Why are we scared to say what’s on our mind?” Which is something relevant to us in terms of not wanting to be close minded and not speak up about issues.

Sam Fender – ‘Get You Down’

This track is a reflection on Sam’s past and his insecurities and how that’s shaped him and affects his relationships. The key for us in this song is that although it has a serious meaning, it’s instrumentally upbeat with an easy listening nature, something important to us. Sam Fender’s ability to be honest about his past inspired more open and honest lyricism throughout the EP.

Violent Soho – ‘Lying on the Floor’

We dig the use of common terms and sayings throughout Violent Soho’s songs. It’s lyrically intriguing and very relatable for us as listeners. We always try to stay true to our character and be genuine in our lyricism.

HUNNY – ‘Shy’

This track is a nice change in subject as it’s focused on the present and future, not dwelling on the past. The song is upbeat and optimistic in terms of the future and for us we found this refreshing.

Crocodylus – ‘Social Climber’

The way this song talks about other people and depicts a story of someone else was something we were fond of. We tried to do a similar thing in ‘Diamond’, where we reflected on a close mate of ours in the lyric writing process. This track also had a massive influence on the arrangement and structure of our track ‘How I Met Your Mother’.

Hippo Campus – ‘Way It Goes’

This is a ripper song. We just love the succinct message in not taking yourself too seriously and getting on with it. This was a feeling we resonated with during the making of the Get Better EP as a whole. Shit happens and that’s just the way it goes.

The VANNS – ‘Fake Friends’

The reflection of what’s going on around you and with the people closest to you is something we naturally do. This is an important practice and we love how The VANNS deliver the message in this track. The delivery and emotion of the vocals got us really intrigued and we took a lot of cues from this one when tracking the EP.

Wolf Alice – ‘Safe From Heartbreak’

The sporadic thoughts that Wolf Alice present in this track, along with the way they paint a picture of how you can reach a point where all those little thoughts in your head combine to become overwhelming, was something we related to a lot. We tried to present our own version of this throughout the EP and often found ourselves thinking back to this track when coming up with lyrics.

Twin Peaks – ‘Wanted You’

This track influenced our approach to writing choruses a lot, particularly on the track ‘Get Better’. The community feeling in the gang vocals in these choruses really resonated with us, so we wanted to create moments in our live show where the whole crowd belts out the tune in a big cathartic moment for everyone in the room.

Fontaines D.C. – ‘Boys In The Better Land’

This one has a real rowdy live feel to it, with its super simple chord progressions and honest vocal delivery. It has this real strong, bunch-of-dudes-playing-guitars-in-a-local-pub vibe. Nothing pretentious, just a band making some fun tunes and being exactly who they are.

We looked up to that approach and wanted to make sure we achieved that same kind of authenticity on our EP because at the end of the day, we’re just a couple of dudes with guitars – or one guitar – who love playing tunes in local pubs.

  • Old Mervs’ debut EP Get Better is out now.

Further Reading

Love Letter to a Record: Joesef on Frank Ocean’s ‘Blonde’

Darren Hayes: The Sounds That Inspired His New Album ‘Homosexual’

Fontaines D.C.: 10 Essential Tracks

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