A lot of folks have been talking about the debut EP from Hasten Mercy lately, and from where I sit, the tracklist’s crown jewel just might be the song “These Things,” which received a music video in support of its release just this past September. While all three of the tracks included in the disc are really something to behold whether you’re a Head Fake fan or just have a casual interest in thoughtful indie rock, “These Things” stings with a particularly impressive emotional wit, lending personality to us in overdoses of synthesized melodies and vocal harmonies as fragile as they would be freeing for the singer.
The beat is a little subtle in comparison to the kind of friction the bassline is generating near the top of the mix, but I think the percussion that is present on the backend supports the reticent tone of the lyrics rather perfectly. There’s no need to invite indulgence into this arrangement when Hasten Mercy is already working with so much charismatically efficient subtext, created almost entirely through the stripped-down relationship between the bass and lead vocal, and thus, excess was left on the sidelines where it undeniably belongs in a performance like this one.
Watch the video for “These Things” below
Hasten Mercy’s mixing of “These Things” is simple and to the point, and as previously noted about the substance of the song itself, fitting with the minimalistic aesthetical conceptualism that has become a sign of revolt against the established alternative pop/rock underground in the last few years. We don’t want anything getting between our ears and the warm, unassumingly passionate tones lurking around in the instrumental half of this song, and by giving us a masterfully clean mix, we’re getting as close and as intimate a performance as we could ask for in a studio recording without having been in the room for the real thing.
It should be very interesting to see where this act goes from here, and I think that when you take into account the angular construction of “These Things,” there’s no debating whether or not Hasten Mercy has an endless array of possibilities sitting in front of it right now. As a project, the synth play and haunting vocal elements are enough to make a couple of albums’ worth of really intriguing content, but as an outlet made to express very specific emotions that others just can’t find the words for, I don’t see any competition coming this unit’s way for a while.