The Nashville band mercury has three songs out and they’re all excellent. Fronted by their impressive vocalist Madeline Kerr, they’ve been churning out indie rock banger after indie rock banger since 2022. Their most popular one, “I Don’t Know You Like I Used To,” is a four-minute jangling break-up bomb built around an electric melody that keeps building and shifting form. All of their songs seem built to break through the confines of the speaker — they are loud and elemental and crammed full of heart — including their newest, “Woolgathering,” premiering exclusively on NYLON today.
The track is their second release on their label Big Loud Rock, which is conveniently also an apt descriptor of mercury’s sound. On “Woolgathering,” over the course of its three-minutes, Kerr’s voice crescendoes into a powerful wail as guitar and drums crash down alongside. She’s singing about overthinking: the fatalist loops we can sometimes work ourselves into when things all seem to be going too good — “Just because I’m not used to being alone,” goes the hook.
“I wrote ‘Woolgathering’ about being stuck in a place where I’m anxiously waiting around for things to happen,” Kerr tells NYLON of the song over email. “I often get in my head and worry about worst case scenarios. [The lyrics] convey feeling hopelessness against uncertainty, so instead, I resort to waiting around and becoming almost zombie-like while anxiously anticipating the worst and harping on the darkness in my head.”
Its accompanying music video finds Kerr roaming through forest and running across verdant fields, which feel like the only ways you should be listening to the track. Hear “Woolgathering” below, and read on to learn more about the band.
What are you up to right now — describe your surroundings.
I’m laying on my friend Rachel’s bed while she shows me her new books. We are very excited about her new finds!
What’s your earliest music-related memory?
I’ve loved music for as long as I can remember. Though no one else in my family plays, they do appreciate it a lot. When I was born, “Fade Into You” by Mazzy Star was playing, and my parents like to say that’s where the spell was cast :). I remember picking up a guitar when I was around 7 years old and how badly it hurt when I began pressing my fingers to the strings. With tears in my eyes, I remember thinking to myself “if I don’t learn how to play this, I’ll never be happy.” I began teaching myself how to play and never stopped.
What's the story behind "woolgathering?"
I wrote “Woolgathering” about being stuck in a place where I’m anxiously waiting around for things to happen. I often get in my head and worry about worst case scenarios. “I gather the drool from my mouth while I’m overthinking/ Just because you feel like home” conveys feeling hopelessness against uncertainty, so instead, I resort to waiting around and becoming almost zombie-like while anxiously anticipating the worst and harping on the darkness in my head.
The ocean and forests play a role in your visuals. Is nature a source of inspiration to you?
Yes it definitely is. I grew up with a deep admiration for the ocean, even though I grew up landlocked, and I always spent a lot of time alone exploring and learning about my surroundings. It shaped my imagination and played a huge part in the way that I am able to convey the things that I feel. I love to use language that parallels how the earth naturally functions to my own experiences.
You’re based in Nashville. What’s the best spot for live music?
There are truly so many great spots, but The End is my favorite. Something so special and fun about being packed in that room and singing along with a bunch of people to your favorite band. My favorite live show EVER was seeing The Districts play at The End in October 2021. It’s just got something so cool about it and it holds a special place in my heart.