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Listening

The Mere, The Mere

Athens, Georgia’s The Mere is Jacob Flint. Oh, the name? It’s because he ‘wanted a band name that was short and said nothing about him at all.’ The Mere? Yes, and it’s among the best new music you’ve likely never heard.

The Mere sounds like a stripped-down channel of a whole range of British pop acts—from The Fall to The Smiths to The Fall. The melodies faultless, the instrumentation precise and clear, the lyrics evocative—The Mere lives in a remembered world of both regret and treasure. The inflammatory, churning ‘Ambition Kills’ portrays a depressed worker’s once-skewed vision of success. Perhaps the finest song in the collection, ‘Your Visit to America,’ consists of little more than an electric-guitar line, bass pedal and high-hat, and a story that remembers a special friend. None of the songs venture beyond three-and-a-half minutes—so it’s pop in the truest sense of the genre? Well, it’s definitely not fluff. But these little, brittle-and-bitter bites of life don’t sour the tongue so much that you won’t find yourself reaching out for The Mere time and time again. Because whatever the emotion at the core of each song, they’re all very beautiful.

biopic

Andrew Womack is a founding editor of The Morning News. He is always working on the next installment of the Albums of the Year series at TMN. More by Andrew Womack

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