mercury Surrenders to the Unknown in "woolgathering"
Photo: Luke Rogers
Mercury’s newest single, “Woolgathering,” faces the uncertain through an emotional tide of indie rock sound.
Mercury spilled out onto the Nashville scene in 2022 with their debut single, “I Don’t Know You Like I Used To,” which established the band’s visionary indie rock sound. After a brief hiatus, Mercury is back in full steam, having released their re-introductory single, “Trying,” in October 2023.
“Woolgathering” is a current that rises exponentially, beginning with a wandering electric guitar and punctuated hits of live drums. Mercury’s frontperson, Maddie Kerr, colors the sound with her unique vocal tone. There’s a spectrum of influences in her delivery; from the hint of a country yodel to the slightly manic twinge of midwest emo, Kerr’s vocals are all tied together with the soaring intentionality of fine-tuned indie pop songwriting.
What really stands out is the careful containment of the emotion bubbling up beneath the surface of “Woolgathering.” There are moments when each instrument is left free to scream. At one point, the guitar ventures on a cascading riff between instances of cathartic drum hits, and the next, gritty vocals wail over the ambiance of distorted percussion. Mercury has a purpose for every note, which is a consciousness that rings clear throughout the “Woolgathering.”
The visualizer solidifies the song’s grasp attempt at remaining grounded, as Kerr is seen running through a vaguely post-apocalyptic landscape with a horse. It’s both beautiful and ominous, peaceful and isolating, much like the feeling “Woolgathering” invokes.
This is the aspect of Mercury that sets them apart from other indie rock outfits—the way each of their songs infuses a visceral feeling into the sound. “Woolgathering” is both the desperation of clawing at something stable and the release of accepting it’ll never fully settle. Kerr spoke on the song, saying, “It’s my reminder to be calm and try to have a sound mind during times of uncertainty. To surrender to what’s unknown, and tread gracefully during the confusing times in life.”
Watch the "woolgathering" visualizer below: