Album: Another Country
Label: Self released
Review: Diego Camargo
Thoughts: Mermaid Kiss is an English band that was formed in 2000 by Jamie Field (acoustic guitars) and Evelyn Downing (vocals). Another Country (2012) is their 3rd full length album and they also have an EP released.
In 2009 I interviewed the band for my old Progshine website (read it HERE) and they were working on a new project called ‘American Images’. Time passed without me realizing and in October 2012 I remembered, out of the blue, about the band and went to their website to see what was the news. To my surprise Another Country (2012) had just been released, so I sent an e-mail to Jamie that gave me a download code for the album a week later or so.
Time passed again, many personal changes, but Another Country (2012) was always in my cell phone to be played over and over again.
The band that recorded the album was, of course, the couple Evelyn Downing (vocals and flute) and Jamie Field (acoustic guitars). But they also had Wendy Marks (flute, cor anglais, oboe, recorder and harmony vocals), Pete West (acoustic and electric guitars, bass guitars and backing vocals), Colin Henney (keyboards) and Steve White (drums and percussion) in their line-up.
Another Country (2012) is, in fact, an old project that was pushed aside for many years. In 2008 the band decided to finally finish it. The album then took four years to be completed but unfortunately it was only released in Digital formats.
Also have in mind that Another Country (2012) isn’t a pure Prog Rock album. Mermaid Kiss has never been completely on that path anyway. But you’ll find many interesting Prog moments like in ‘This Trail Of Tears’.
Although neither Jamie nor Evelyn went to the USA, the fantastic images the country always projected into people’s minds made them write the album anyway. It ended up being a wonderful, beautiful and kind of melancholic album.
‘Frontier’ starts the album, a short intro and you can already feel what’s coming. Another Country (2012) is in majority an acoustic album, Americana style. Commanded by acoustic guitars, flutes, piano and the touching Evelyn vocals, Mermaid Kiss evokes images and possible situations and wishes.
Although the album is mainly acoustic, the band was smart enough to add many electric guitar solos by Pete West. They also recorded many harmony vocals in the songs.
The main songs on Another Country (2012) are ‘Circles Of Fire’, ‘Dust Bowl Ride’, ‘Rhonda And The Paper Crane’, ‘L.A. Aria’, ‘Scissored Ground’, ‘Ghost Rider’, ‘This Trail Of Tears’ and ‘Comes And Goes’. In the middle of the songs, creating the scene, we also have some small interludes.
Unfortunately, Mermaid Kiss is not a very known band and Another Country (2012) went out a bit unnoticed. Which is a big mistake. The band achieved something very rare nowadays, made the music that touches you, that touches your heart, not just a technical display of musicianship or another sequence of notes that you’ve listened to many times before.
Another Country (2012) is an album that you should listen to many times and savor it calmly.
Evelyn decided that this would be her last album with the band as she’s leaving them amicably. Jamie will keep writing and keep recording with the band, which he should do. But before they do that, don’t waste your time and go for Another Country (2012), a superb piece of music!