Mermaid Avenue is an award-winning Indie-Rock/Alt-Country group from Brisbane, Australia. Named for a Woody Guthrie song (made famous in 1998 by Billy Bragg and Wilco), since 2015 the band has been creating critically Americana music around the skillful songwriting of frontman Peter Clarke. They released their debut album ‘Temptation and Half the Truth’ in 2018 to positive reviews. The record’s second single ‘Rise’ was a finalist in Blues and Roots Radio’s International Song of The Year competition.
Earlier this year Mermaid Avenue returned, releasing a series of new singles. With the world slowly opening back up they are looking to return to their busy pre-pandemic gig schedule. And later this year they will release their sophomore full length album, “Sugartown.” They have already generated some excitement for its release with the songs “Turn the Page” and “Philosophy,” and they recently dropped their third release of 2021.
“California” is the latest single and video from Mermaid Avenue, released worldwide on June 25, 2021. The track is a wistful Alt-Country love song. On the track the Oz band conjures the mellow vibes of classic Topanga Valley, West Coast yacht rock. The easy jangly guitars of Mike Kearey and Chris Wong meet a chill groove provided by bassist Mark Egan and drummer Anthony Judd. Keyboardist Casey Lee matches the song’s bluesy guitar leads with some laid-back honky-tonk piano. Meanwhile, Peter Clarke sings “I wanna take you to California where the truth of fiction abides,” imagining an escape with his love into the fantasy of Tinsel Town.
Check out the “California” video below. You can also hear the song on both the Deep Indie Songwriters and Deep Indie Dive playlists. We had the chance to chat with the band. Check out their answers to our 8 questions. And follow the links at the end of this article to connect with Mermaid Avenue. Get on their socials and get in the loop on their forthcoming album “Sugartown.”
8 Questions with Mermaid Avenue
Where are you from?
How long have you been making music?
The band was formed in 2015 and released our first album, Temptation and Half the Truth, in 2018. We’ve been gigging (when COVID lets us) and writing/recording (when it won’t) ever since.
Who are the musicians involved in your project?
Peter Clarke (Vocals, guitar), Mike Kearey (lap steel and guitars), Chris Wong (guitars), Mark Egan (basses), Casey Chadwick (keys) and Tony Judd (drums and percussion).
Who are your biggest musical influences?
So many and so many genres! Wilco, Drive-By Truckers, James Jameson, The Eagles, REM, Halfway (Australian band), Tom Petty, Wilco, Nathaniel Rateliffe, Vulfpeck, John Meyer…with 6 disparate musicians the list is really endless..
What is your greatest non-musical influence?
Great question. I think it’s the resilience we see everyday in people who are dealing with what’s going on in the world. As a doctor, Pete is at the frontline of health services and is seeing the best (and the not so best) in people. On a less serious note – boutique breweries!
What inspired you to create this project?
Pete has been writing songs for years, this project is the vehicle by which we craft them into what they become.
What are your plans for the future (musically)?
Hopefully some live gigs! Releasing the album (‘California’ is the third of eleven songs on our new album ‘Sugartown’ being released later in the year). We are also in the planning stage for our next album…
Is there anything else you would like to say?
Like all independent bands, we are pretty grateful that people take the time to listen to our music – so we’d like to thank you and your audience for taking the time to check us out. If you have the time, please checkout our Spotify, Facebook and YouTube channels and give ‘em a like. If you’d like to help us more – ask your friends to do the same. Stay safe all!