BY LYDIA RIVERS
It sounds as if Merce Lemon is saying exactly what she means on her debut album Moonth, whether it’s as explicit as an ended relationship or as seemingly silly as saying everything happens on her dick. Through a heartfelt voice that begs to be taken seriously (even when it’s not), Merce Lemon’s melancholic lyrics and simple instrumentation feel charmingly homey and innocent, while maintaining an emotional distance. It’s the sort of aloof that makes you want to run after her — even when you know you probably shouldn’t.
Released on August 14, the minutes breeze by on this 15-track indie folk-rock album. With most songs clocking in around two minutes or less, this unified, stripped-down and mellow collection of songs makes for relaxing listening.
The stand-out single off of the album is easily “Baby,” a short and bittersweet minute-long love song about ending a relationship while still in love. With matter-of-fact lyrics like “Loving your someone is not hard to do / And baby if you loved me / You’d show me you do,” and a quick chorus about moving on, the jangly tune is irresistible. Still, I think the intro track “Dragon Friends” is a fierce competitor. On this song, Merce Lemon wrestles with growing up, responsibility, and sadness of nostalgia. She longs for old childhood feelings kept in an age that no longer exists, plainly saying “I love the mind of little kids / What a world they live in / Won’t they take me back in.”
I remember laughing when listening to “No Other Fruit Exists” for the first time. I was walking home, too focused on where I was going to realize that the sweetly cloudy melody was accompanying soft singing about how her dick is the only fruit. With a song like this and the album finishing off on the 19-second song “Horses,” made up of a few shouty seconds asking what the fuck they are, it’s impossible to say Merce Lemon takes herself too seriously. However, I think listening to Merce Lemon’s antics on songs like these is just as important as hearing her lamentations and realizations to fully grasp what she’s trying to say.
Through both elusive, memory-filled heartfelt tales and tracks with amusingly absurd lyrics, they’re told with the same feeling of significance. Seriousness and satire blend in a way that makes listening to Moonth like watching a person with fears of intimacy slowly reveal themselves. Kept underneath layers of jokes, a slow understanding of who they are and what made them that way is found over time.
I’m looking forward to seeing the path Merce Lemon takes, and highly recommend putting this album on while finding time to wind down. It’s worth a moon shot.