"Merpire has a knack for crafting gorgeous pop songs with layered vocals, crunchy guitar tones and wistful lyrics. We are hanging on the edge of our seats for her next release."
" A surprise attack of the feels. It's a pretty beautiful package, ... lovely voice and vulnerable writing."
- Davy Ruby Howe, triple J Unearthed
2018 was an undeniably huge year for Rhiannon Atkinson-Howatt. The brain behind transfixing nom de guerre Merpire, Rhiannon has quickly grown from nascent head-turner to powerful frontrunner of the local indie-pop scene.
Nestling into her new Melbourne home, the past 12 months have seen Merpire release her debut EP Endless Chatter and play a slew of noteworthy live shows including a sold-out EP launch at The Gasometer Hotel, which due to high demand, was relocated from the venue’s upstairs parlour to the downstairs band room – tripling the initial capacity. Merpire has supported the likes of Angie McMahon, Olympia, Phantastic Ferniture, Oh Pep! and more, and recently embarked on her biggest run of shows to date supporting Didirri on his National ‘Measurements’ Tour.
The striking young artist conjures magical moments of danceable introspection both in the studio and on stage. Backed by a predominantly female live line-up, a Merpire live show is a playful tease between intimate pop ballads and fully immersive indie-rock arrangements. Such a powerful and versatile live presence has already seen Merpire perform standout sets at Bigsound, By The Meadow, A Festival Called PANAMA, Brunswick Music Festival and more.
Now signed to Melbourne based management company Fright Night Music, the destined talent continues to build on an established and unique sound of exquisite pleas and arresting refrains, with her latest track 'Habit' - a stunning ode to the city she lives in, and the community within in it that helped shape her as an artist and break the bad habit of not believing in herself - or rather- herself as an artist. And that questioning of one’s output, which is the central theme of the song, demonstrates an exciting sense of vulnerability that has become trademark to Merpire; avoiding the earnest footsteps of other artists in this genre, but rather, bereft of ego – represents a new bold voice in music.
Following from the incremental success of recent single ‘Lately’, with rotation on triple j unearthed, and double j, Merpire’s exciting upward trajectory continues to prove why she’s topped many a one-to-watch list of 2019. Stay tuned.