Album Review: Merci, Mercy - 'Like An Orchid EP'

24 November 2023 | 11:27 am | Bryget Chrisfield

With 'Like An Orchid', merci, mercy continues to pair buoyant melodies with profound subject matter.

Merci, Mercy

Merci, Mercy (Credit: Madeline Randall)

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Cuteness overload alert: the title of merci, mercy’s third EP, was inspired by a hand-drawn card her boyfriend gave her, which contained a poem he’d penned on the flipside: “‘Like an orchid, you have bloomed,’ or something. It was really cute,” she details in Like An Orchid’s accompanying presser. 

We’re immediately drawn into this collection of five songs about all-consuming twentysomething issues, including anxiety, love/lust, self-sabotage and all the related headfuckery. Instrumentally, it’s rainbows, sunshine and unicorns, but be sure to home in on merci’s vulnerable, confessional lyrics – with sprinklings of self-deprecating humour – for a greater understanding of this exciting, multifaceted artist.     

You’re so fucking nice/ I wanna throw something at your head…” – could opener Shovel’s opening lyrics be any more attention-grabbing and unexpectedly LOL-worthy!? Later, during this song’s ripping guitar solo, merci repeatedly laments, “I'm a hater, not a lover,” while simultaneously coming across as someone who’s impossible to hate. Co-written with Matthew Murphy from The Wombats, Shovel’s jangly guitars, boppy beat, shimmering tambourine, throbbing synth undercurrent and perfectly placed, winsome BVs will get you smiling and nodding your head along in no time.   

Merci never resorts to oversinging to impress. Her vocal style is airy and clear as an alpine stream, sitting somewhere between Julia Jacklin and The Cardigans’ singer Nina Persson (yeah, you know her: remember Lovefool from Baz Luhrmann’s excellent Romeo + Juliet soundtrack?). 

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If You Had Any Friends was inspired by a snarky comment made by a judgy ex-boyfriend who wasn’t a fan of merci’s midweek boozing/partying: “You wouldn’t be drinking alone if you had any friends.” This song shimmies with Strokes-esque riffs to fend off her buzzkill: “Used to be the bee in the story/ Now just a wasp in its glory…”

It’s disappointing to read that merci initially felt a bit pressured to remove the ‘Horny’ from her song title Lonely & Horny, and we’re so glad she eventually got her way. Reassuring, ukulele-strummed verses are gatecrashed by cartoonish, vibratory synth during this one’s choruses. Then, a dreamy, ascending bridge elevates us to an interplanetary good vibe zone. “Being young and in love isn't something to trust/ But I feel your love's a must…” – we’ve all feared getting hurt during relationships, which often leads to self-sabotage, but it works out for some, right?    

Merci has said that Silver Lining, a song about her tendency to self-medicate to push through social anxiety (“Am I delusional/ To call you my silver lining?”), best signposts her future musical direction. 

You said you’d die at 22/ But I wanna grow old and mouldy with you.” – when she penned Mouldy, merci had only been with her current partner for a year. They’ve now survived three years together, and she reflects, “It’s so funny to think like, ‘We’ve made it’.” Built from pensive piano and drum machine backing, Mouldy charmingly encapsulates young love against all odds: “They say we’re too young to be this in love/ They say we should fuck around ‘til we know…”

This EP then concludes with some in-studio dialogue: “Did you get it?”/ “I think I got it” (FYI: we also think they got it). 

Merci, mercy continues to pair buoyant melodies with profound subject matter throughout Like An Orchid, which makes it the perfect soundtrack for spontaneous road trips, spring cleaning, poolside catch-ups, and just doing life in general.      

Like An Orchid is out now via Liberation Records.


Ticket details at

Sat 25 Nov | Always Live Soundbox | Arts Centre Forecourt | Melbourne (Naarm) VIC

Sun 26 Nov | Mushroom 50 | Rod Laver Arena | Melbourne (Naarm) VIC

Sun 17 Dec | Changing Tides | Kiama Showgrounds | Kiama (Kiarama) NSW