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Mereki – Death of a Cloud Review

Managing a Glastonbury debut and a first LP release over the course of a few months gives Mereki the momentum so many would die for. Death of a Cloud makes good on that momentum. This is not a time to squander promising stars, and Mereki knows it. Her impressive indie folk charm will strike a chord with those that need it most, but the technical flourishes and well-developed momentum found within gives it that next level so few hit on in their first release. Wistful and dreamy vocal impressions are the guiding force of this album, a collection of simple things extrapolated and torn through with such beauty and lush, instrumental strokes. 

Opening track Wake Up Dead is that necessary, sudden rush. Those pop grooves and the acoustic folk beats blur with such a natural progression. Death of a Cloud is an essential release. The self-reliant charm of Presence comes from its alternation of perspective, the vocals rushing from slightly echoed and backing to the powerful flush that comes from its reality-doubting persuasions. Electronic sharpness and the beat of Twin Flame share some sultry little bits and pieces with Arctic Monkeys’ The Worlds First Ever Monster Truck Front Flip. Moments like that do not define Mereki, but her keen change of pace and consistencies elsewhere on Death of a Cloud is monumental. Glossy shimmers and distorted kazoos make for quite the soundscape. 

Exhibiting a range of different tones and pacing, yet managing to hold a steady fixation on a handful of themes, is to the thorough benefit of both listener and Mereki. Death of a Cloud is an establisher. An important part of the momentum an artist can draw from time and time again. It is not yet knowable where Mereki is headed next, such is the vastness and quality workings found on this album. A phenomenal double blow of Wasted Love and The Garden inspires an incredibly charged confidence for Mereki, whose work on both of those tracks signals a high point. One of many for such a thoroughly consistent indie folk, pop-ready album. These are the sort of tracks long-going, established artists kill for. Pieces that can be relied on time and time again.  

In just thirty-six minutes, Mereki has established herself as the next big prospect. Death of a Cloud is accessible, connected and refined yet still makes space for broad strokes and defiant experimentation. There are flickering charms of recent Arctic Monkeys in here, not in their vocal style but in their instrumental presence, the tender and twee momentum they have garnered. Mereki advances it one further, touching up the piano ballads and harpsichord structures, the intimate percussion and the brevity of those acoustic guitar strokes are a powerful piece. Purple Moons demonstrates that best of all, a moving track that nails the sweet spot between soppy and supreme qualities. That balance is harder to find now, but Mereki has done it her way and despite drawing some comparisons to the greats that came before her, is a mellow new voice using lush instrumental steadiness as a charged platform for incredible vocals.  

Ewan Gleadow
Ewan Gleadow
Editor in Chief at Cult Following | News and culture journalist at Clapper, Daily Star, NewcastleWorld, Daily Mirror | Podcast host of (Don't) Listen to This | Disaster magnet

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