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OH MERCY

oh-mercy

When We Talk About Love

EMI

Melbourne lightweight pop proponents Oh Mercy are now four albums in, building a reputation that is pushing Alex Gow towards the top of the pile in terms of songwriting output. Gow again takes all of the responsibility of penning the tunes on When We Talk About Love, the most personal record from Oh Mercy to date.

Writing When We Talk About Love, Gow sentenced himself to a self-imposed exile in the US and came out the other end with an album that tips its hat to The Triffids and The Go-Betweens.

Strings start the album before giving way to the bright acoustic pop that is Oh Mercy’s bread and butter. Gow sings like a fellow most likely to have had sand kicked in his face by the bully at the beach, but it is this reserved delivery that is also one of the band’s greatest assets. Let Me Be Him is a lovely piece of jangle and Sandy is delightfully hook heavy.

The upbeat and breezy arrangements hide much of the remorse and regret on When We Talk About Love. Oh Mercy (or more accurately Alex Gow) have returned from staring at the abyss with purpose, even if not with optimism.

CHRIS HAVERCROFT

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