Merpire, the moniker of Melbourne-based artist Rhiannon Atkinson-Howatt writes music living somewhere between the rom-com and horror movie sections of her mind. This is evident not only in her music but her videos too. The teenage-bedroom inspired video for her song ‘Dinosaur’ was quickly added to ABC’s Rage – a teenage dream for Merpire.
A year on from co-founding the online streaming festival ISOL-AID as a reaction to the pandemic in 2020, Merpire has just released her debut record, ‘Simulation Ride’, co-produced with James Seymour, via ADA Records – a record about looking for positivity in anxiety. It landed the feature album spot on Double J and SYN radio, winning hearts around the country. Overseas, lead single ‘Brain Cells’ was featured on BBC Radio 1’s Jack Saunders’ Future Artists, ‘Village’ on NPR and La Blogothèque as well as features in CLASH magazine, NME, Atwood magazine and more. Double J has continued to play three songs from the record every day since its release.
As Merpire goes from strength to strength, so too does her fanbase and their loyalty to her, her music and her live show. Merpire’s captivating and predominantly female band has landed her a slew of Australian festivals (A festival called PANAMA, Brunswick Music Fest and featuring with RAT!hammock at Laneway) and supports with the likes of Julia Jacklin, Paul Dempsey, Angie Mcmahon. With powerful, versatile performances that are an emotional roller coaster to behold, It is no wonder her album launch sold out in a matter of days before having to be postponed due to a 6th lockdown in Melbourne. With funding from Creative Victoria, and Merpire’s defined themes, it is sure to be a show like no other and her fans know it.