Some of my fondest memories are inevitably tied to Thirsty Merc and I’ll bet I’m not the only one.
Thirsty Merc are more like an Australian icon than a musical act. It’s a rare thing to meet an Aussie who can’t belt out a haphazard “In The Summertime” or at least hum the tune. Who could forget so many episodes of Bondi Rescue, or the Barbies with tripleM as the DJ. The Thirsty Merc name, sound and aesthetic almost couldn’t be more Aussie.
To me, they call back primary school holidays, filled with lazy beach days, the taste of my local’s fish and chips, the first girl I ever kissed. That should surprise nobody- Their sound IS the summertime. But past this cultural obsession lie a million more personal memories. I remember waking up, wasting whole days gaming to ‘Someday, Someday’ and that’s not their classic aesthetic, nor what they draw to mind with their sound.
Thirsty Merc are classic because never once have they felt like a stereotype to me. I can’t emphasize how easily Aussie pop/rock acts can slide into music that feels like it was based off Crocodile Dundee. Sure, their top hits are these summer love-stories but inside that lies the mundane of Aussie life- the other 9 months of the year. Without wanting to harp on about my favourite Merc track- Someday Someday has lyricism that is both intricate, easily understood and powerful in its message. The theme of these great Australian distances isn’t obvious, but it sets the tone. In that way, they’ve never been defined by the more garish and off-centre parts of the international perspective on our country.
Thirsty Merc are a hallmark of Australian pop and rock. They know the scene inside and out, their music a place of pilgrimage for upstart Aussie acts. They blend genres so smoothly and with such simplicity as to almost go unnoticed. They fulfil an irreplaceable role in Australian music, and they continue to evolve with their genre. Tonedeaf wrote a great article about their decision to go independent- a move that reinforces their adaptability and readiness to stay involved in this scene. Their 10 year acoustic re-release seems to have sparked new development in the band, who are in the process of recording a new album.
So, what am I trying to say? I’m trying to tell you to keep your eyes on this act. I’m willing to bet you know at least one of their songs off by heart, and if you don’t, go learn one. They’re here to stay, and I for one, eagerly await what they have to offer next. It’s rare to get an act with quality like this that can evolve with their scene, so keep your ears open!