Liam Merrigan, a singer-songwriter from Kintbury Berkshire UK, has just released his first project with a full band, entitled “Evermore”. The three track EP, sees Liam (Vocals, Guitar), team up with Ian Vallance (Drums) and Nick Beere (bass). Merrigan, who was a 2017 Listen Up Britain semi-finalist, has supported artists like Juicy Lucy, Grim Reaper, and others in the past. Singer-songwriters have a hard job at times to set themselves apart. There’s only so much one person can do with a guitar, and however many session musicians they draft in, the songs are usually centered largely on the vocalist’s instrument.
Interesting as all this is, there remains a subtle but beautiful art to the pure form of the singer-songwriter genre. The distinguishing factor is the amount of control the leading artist has over the final product; beyond that, the lyrics and storytelling are also under great scrutiny.
If we take these aforementioned criteria into consideration, then Liam Merrigan is debatably a modern master of his craft. Four years on from his album “Broke Beyond Tomorrow”, if this new recording is meant to rebuild momentum and make people take notice again, then Liam looks like succeeding
Liam Merrigan kicks the campaign off with “Not the One”, and it’s the start I was hoping for. The strum of jangling acoustic guitars, the steady thud of the drums, and the thick walking basslines. The song is an easy listen; its company is a stunning work of mid-tempo, melodic pop which never drags, consistently performs and occasionally tugs at the heartstrings, you’ll wonder what’s hit you from under the lyrical hood.
While “Goodbye My Dear” showcases an up-tempo and driving organic groove, the lyrics are dark, afflicted and angry, as Liam Merrigan looks inside and beyond deceit, and a broken relationship. Liam’s lyrics slide and melt, lamenting the state of a dishonest sentimental situation from which there is no turning back.
Liam Merrigan largely discards the austere, deadly serious singer-songwriter and a guitar sonic shtick, in favor of a lush acoustic driven canvas upon which he reliably spins his literate music. But that’s only in the music, because the lyrics remain deadly serious.
The title track, “Evermore”, continues the scintillating upbeat tempo, while the lyrical material remains dark and somber. Liam Merrigan vocal resonance is quite evident here, with simple chord changes adding power to this song, as, again do his lyrics.
There’s something undeniably beautiful underneath the sadness of this song. The UK based singer-songwriter has a way of forming personal truths in an original way, hitting the sad emotional lyrical notes, alongside the musically hopeful ones.
If you handed the lyric sheet of each of the songs contained within this EP, to any songwriter of you choice, I’m almost certain they would come up with three melancholic ballads. Yet surprisingly, Liam Merrigan has paired his words with more up-tempo and dynamic rhythms, which leads me to believe that he senses a ray of sunshine hidden behind the darkening drapes of these experiences. Or maybe it’s just that the part of him that cares has died, and he has moved on.
Ultimately, if you go into “Evermore” expecting touching, intelligent and melodic music, you’ll be rewarded. You’ll just be surprised by the tones and timbres.