Merk is the musical moniker of Auckland, New Zealand artist, multi-instrumentalist and producer Mark Perkins who began his career as a touring member of Tom Lark and Fazerdaze before releasing his debut album Swordfish in 2017. He earned acclaim with his 2020 single “H.N.Y.B” and today he unveils the utopic new “GOD” single/video debuted alongside SPIN Magazine “A Day in the Life” feature. The song is strapped with a disco-indebted synth line, skittering percussion, bouncing bass and repetitive mantra-esque lyrics that promise much more to come.
“Songwriting has a sneaky way of revealing to me my feelings long before I am aware of them,” shares Merk. “‘GOD’ is an example of a song that did just that. When writing ‘GOD’ I thought I was in full irony mode, I was trying to make a cool song out of potentially the least cool thing one could sing about. It’s kinda weird, but in my head I had this image of an anthropological A.I. or something looking at the whole history of mankind and wondering what “God” was. It wasn’t until well into the songwriting process I realised that as tongue in cheek as I was being, I was also being entirely earnest. At the time I was doing a big deconstruction of my childhood growing up around religion and trying to figure out what it was I myself believe. It also coincided with a particularly low point in my life, and the sweet resignation that comes with the feeling that things couldn’t get any worse; a peaceful feeling that at least nothing can hurt you when you’re at the bottom!”
On the self-directed & edited video alongside Martin Sagadin, Merk explains: “During one of the lockdowns I became a bit obsessed with video glitch art. There is a super cool online community of people who take old 80s video equipment and circuit bend them into these weird video FX units. After talking with a few of them and getting their advice I found an old CRT TV and some video synths and decided to recreate the GOD video by destroying our super high quality footage and filming the TV as it ran through this old outdated gear.”
Perkins learned the craft of recording and producing under the stewardship of Crowded House’s (and now Fleetwood Mac’s!) Neil Finn while working at Roundhead Studios. His debut album Swordfish went on to win Best Debut Album at the Taite Music Prize (New Zealand’s equivalent of the Mercury or Polaris Prize), and led to tours with Cub Sport, Marlon Williams and Julia Jacklin in Australia and New Zealand.
“GOD” is Merk’s second global release via Humblebrag Records. Stay tuned for news on a new album in 2021.