Space is an important aspect to think about when writing a song. According to Fred Merk, “He loves to create soundscapes and stories, trying to reach the beauty of silence with his music.” It seems like a contradiction.
Music, noise and sound is actually the opposite of silence but I think I know what he is getting at after listening to his EP Sink. There is a certain kind of meditative stillness that music can create. I hear that when listening to a group like Stars of the Lid or Ben Lukas Bonyan. I could say Merk gets within a similar space.
He opens with “Les Chiens” which revolves around spread out piano chords where the sustaining of the notes is just as important as the notes themselves. A lead guitar enters the mix becoming more of the focal center. The song doesn't go too far and basically stops where it started with a little more energy.
“Jail” contains vocals, harmonies and guitar. It’s a great song with a hushed vocal performance. It is full of melancholy, a dash of hope and tons of reflection.
“Le Lac” is a short piano piece that felt like a vignette. He revisits the guitar picking and hushed vocals on “Sink” while “Domani Sera” is an instrumental guitar piece. “We are guilty” is a notable closer with more emotionally resonant vocals and effective guitar picking.
Overall, this was a well recorded EP. As a whole the EP did feel very light even for the type of music it was. I would have liked to heard a couple of tracks that went to around the five- or six- minute mark. I had some curiosity of where he might go at that track length.
There are some beautiful moments on this EP and I think he does achieve what he describes he is going for. I’d like to hear more of his work soon and see where he can take this type of music.
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