Merk is the solo project of New Zealand songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Mark Perkins, which began when Perkins recorded 2016’s Swordfish (winner of Best Debut at the Taite Music Prize). His debut album showcased a knack for melody, based around guitars strummed to catchy perfection. While Swordfish introduced many of the qualities that Merk continues to cultivate, it’s on Infinite Youth that he comes fully into his own.
On Infinite Youth, Merk examines the blurry line between adolescence and adulthood, and all the clarity and mess that accompanies that blurring. This is a record that thrives on a certain simplicity of rhythm, melody, and lyric, and is compelled by contrast: pop songs influenced by art music, an album about adulthood that reflects heavily on what it is to be young, and a sonic world that is both expansive and deeply intimate.
Perkins has an understated, commanding presence, a playful intensity, as well as an ability to simply let go.