“Love” is the debut single from Merlin. Growing up she moved back and forth between Albania and Germany, before settling in Boston when she was seven-years-old. Still in the process of recording the full EP, “Love” is a remarkable fluid track with strong pop and mild techno music beds. Even stronger is Merlin’s exotic, confident vocals and overall musicality.
She describes “Love” as “me addressing my past and my younger self, warning against failed and fantasy love. It’s a mixture of how one feels in the midst of a toxic relationship and then realizing that the first and most important love, is yourself. It’s my way of turning mistakes into lessons.” The music bed really illustrates this –“Love” has this meandering, dark, mysterious pulse. It’s snake-like devious-like in a way, but not scary or seedy. It’s as if to say the toxicity is oozing into the music, covering over the positive basslines and warmer tones. The song moves along, shifting the hips and colliding with your own imagination and Merlin’s ‘open diary’ of thoughts and feelings.
Merlin sings “repeat and rewinds…don’t behave, but don’t abuse me” and it’s easy to connect with those feelings. We often want what isn’t good for us – we can see it happening and we do it to ourselves over and over. And, even though you tell yourself don’t fall for it again, down the same path we go. Maybe the music bed’s eerie path is what is presented. That part of your soul that just won’t jive with doing what you know is right; following your heart instead of your head. As a listener, her first-account story isn’t widely evident, until you read her bio, but I’m guessing anyone listening to it, judging by her passion and delivery, will understand she’s singing from her heart and her soul. Simply spellbinding.
Her voice is mesmerizing. She’s in total control of this song and the buoyancy on the music bed is a memorable thrill. She’s not flashy – she’s staying in her lane, but she seems to really gain the most momentum in telling her story, singing her song. I’m not sure she would have that same effect if she were singing another writer’s lyrics. Her voice is just full of a life-lived and stories to tell. Might I be too bold as to say to hear this song acapella would be a dream. I’m just enamored with the music bed too much, as I am with the marriage of her voice to the tones and fusion of sounds.
Merlin – yes, that’s her name her official biography states – joins a treasured list of ‘one-name’ artists: Cher, Seal, Madonna, Beyonce, Prince, Eminem and so on – I don’t think we will be adding Merlin to the ‘one-hit wonder list’. “Love” is a remarkable debut for any genre of music. Oh, that music bed, it just grabbed me! Merlin works her magic in the outstanding track “Love” and it’s definitely worth listening to and adding to your musical library or playlist selection.