"They are songs that require full attention but will reward the listener with catharsis."
- Ann Treacy, Mostly Minnesota Music
here for you is the debut EP by Minneapolis-based singer/ songwriter Christy Merry. Across its five tracks, Merry and collaborator Matt Patrick present a digital-age reinvention of the classic singer-songwriter template - one that recreates the melancholic feel and hushed ambience of simple songs written on acoustic guitar with layers of synthesizers, looping drums and heavily treated electric instruments.
The results range from stark (the acoustic trip-hop of “Reach for Me,” which equally recalls Portishead and Toe) to lush (the expansive 80s New Age synths of “Peter’s Lullaby” and “Don’t Be Afraid”), but never pull from Merry’s vocals, which serve as the emotional center of the project. Suffused with a wistful sadness, this group of songs serves as an essay on the way we try to connect with others despite the barriers placed between us - be they time, place, history or circumstance.
here for you uses the language of post-modern folk-rock (see: 90s classics like The Innocence Mission or Weeping Tile) to explore distinctly modern emotional paradoxes, such as longing for connection amidst an era that fosters disconnection. The sessions that birthed the EP saw Merry reunited with Patrick, whom she’s known since high school - an unlikely reconnection that shaped the sonics of the record and points towards the album’s themes of resilience and reconnection.
Ultimately, the EP lives up to its name by continually returning to a state of hopefulness despite its somewhat sorrowful tone. Through themes of togetherness and collaboration, Merry’s songs suggest that a better and more compassionate future is possible if we embrace ourselves and others with the same empathy and kindness as the kids on the album’s cover. The collision of these various musical, emotional and thematic elements makes here for you a unique experience that might, for a moment, take you out of the squalid morass that is modern living and give you a bit of audacious hope.
- bio by Ali Jaafar