Mermaid Avenue’s new single is deeply personal and wonderfully made

  • 2 min read

An indie rock and alternative country band hailing from Brisbane/Meanjin, Mermaid Avenue were formed in 2015 around the songwriting of Peter Clarke. Armed with an evolving and intimate sound that is defiantly their own, Mermaid Avenue have recently announced plans for their fourth album ‘Jacarandas’ and shared evocative new single ‘The Bigger They Are (The Harder They Fall)’.

Arguably the band’s most personal and emotional single to date, ‘The Bigger They Are (The Harder They Fall)’ sees frontman Peter reminiscing about growing up watching Rugby League with his Father and Grandfather. Reflecting the simple joy of those moments, the song also builds to become a heartfelt lament that about watching his much-loved father succumb to dementia.

Built around melodic, almost melancholic acoustic guitar, ‘The Bigger They Are (The Harder They Fall)’ wastes little time in creating a steep emotional journey, layering touching melodies with simmering, curated percussion, and winding country bass. Peter’s vocals and delivery are smooth and honest, reflecting the personal nature and more fragile moments of the song, creating an unmistakable atmosphere that will be felt by everyone. In Peter’s delivering lies the heart of the song, and lines like “No we can’t pretend, there’s one more tackle, one more kick” hit harder with each and every listen.

It's an undeniably expressive and touching track, with every member of the band doing well to back Peter’s journey through his loss, grief, and fond memories. Speaking further about the song online, Peter shared, “Like most boys, my father was the biggest figure in my formative years. He taught me not just how to tackle, but all the basic principles of how I lead my life. Unfortunately, my father was diagnosed with dementia in 2019 and now resides in a nursing home. His memories of those years and ‘Smokin Joe’ have been lost to this disease. I hope that some of those memories can live on in this song.”

Boasting a sound that seamlessly blends elements of modern alternative rock and classic country, ‘The Bigger They Are (The Harder They Fall)’ will linger in your mind long after it’s faded to silence, leaving an impact that extends far beyond the music. The guitar work, combining electric and acoustic textures with a hint of country soul, adds depth and character, backing Peter’s vocals and emotions perfectly, while also progressing the track at its own gentle pace.

A tight-knit band driven by Peter, and including current members Chris Wong, Mike Kearey, Mark Egan, Casey Lee, and Nathan Poetschka, Mermaid Avenue released their debut album in late 2018, and since then, they have continue to go from strength to strength. Their fourth album, 'Jacarandas' will be released later this year and feature 'The Bigger They Are (The Harder They Fall)’.

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