Rose Mercie ¿Kieres Agua? LP

Four years after their debut LP, Parisian quartet ROSE MERCIE returns with their latest conjugation ¿Kieres Agua?, drifting through the winding paths of their own self-created world as illuminated by the faint glow of the RAINCOATS’ tangled rhythms, ELECTRELANE’s warm keyboard drones, and GRASS WIDOW’s spectral harmonies. From an era where the dominant form of post-punk expression has been one of paranoia and detachment (generally amplified by the effects of technology), ROSE MERCIE’s sparse, haunting slow burn seems to exist out of (or outside of?) time, a flickering flame as opposed to a blinking cursor. In the midst of the tranced-out, tom-driven hypnotic tumble of “Dinosaur,” multiple intertwining voices chant the line “let no man steal your thyme” (lifted from a traditional British Isles folk ballad warning young women of the dangers of taking false lovers), a thoroughly unmodern reference that suits them just as well as the TABLE SUGAR-y off-kilter pop lilt and sharp art-punk angles of “Chais Pas” and “Des Pierres.” The four members of the band are cast as witches circling a ritualistic pyre on the LP’s cover (one of the oldest and strongest archetypes of sisterhood), and it’s echoed over the motorik, polyrhythmic percussive clatter of closing track “Witching,” with a Spanish incantation that roughly translates to “Loving us / Looking for us / Taking care of us / Between good and evil”—a testament in sound to the bonds of female friendship; a document of four women making music with each other, but more importantly, for each other.