Merival – ‘Lovers’ EP Track By Track
Posted: by Sean Gonzalez
Relationships can be a strange thing. Whether suffocating or surpassing through expectations, each one is different and timeless in its own way. When the pattern becomes a discontent mess, that’s when the mind begins to wander to dark places. That is where we find Merival on her journey through her past lovers. Lovers is an EP detailing much of frail nature of relationships and how easily they can fade. Warm Americana tracks are detailed with soft acoustic guitars and a light vocal delivery. Each song across the EP has the surreal feeling of Anna Horvath walking along the bad and guiding them to a better place. Her delivery is real and honest. Although dealing with content often touched on, she sprints through songs with enough elegance to cause the listener to replay and comprehend what they just heard. “Alay Alas” is the perfect example of this feeling, spiraling through quick tempo’d guitar finger picking that flies by underneath Horvath’s soft delivery. It’s beautiful, it’s ethereal and it’s real. Find more by the gifted artist here: https://merival.bandcamp.com/
1. A Better Deal
I wrote this song in the fall of 2010. At the time, I was 19 and living in residence at the University of Guelph and was carrying on this long-distance pseudo-relationship. I was suffering from crippling social anxiety for the first time and spent most of my time in my room alone, going in mental circles. I wrote a lot of songs. The terms of my relationship were not clearly defined and I felt left in the dust. The person I loved was on the other side of the country having the time of his life, becoming involved in so many things that sounded fantastic from such a distance and with the consequence of not having a lot of time to talk to me. I felt needy; I wanted a lot of reassurance that I wasn’t getting. I was unsure of how strong our connection was. It was definitely a lonely time.
2. Alay Alas
Most of my songs are born out of melancholy or sadness, but this one came more from frustration and anger. I had a brief relationship during my last semester of high school that ended abruptly, and at the time (being 17) I still believed in things like closure and reasons and making sure everything got hashed out after the fact. He wasn’t interested in talking it through, which fucking floored me!
3. Kicking You Out
I wrote this in December 2009, over the Christmas holiday’s at my cousins’ place in Ottawa. I’d been on an emotional roller coaster over the last 2 years and was thinking about how indelible the effects of it could prove to be. I’d gone and fallen in love with someone, really really hard, and I kept reinforcing it and reinforcing it over the years even though he was the one who decided when he wanted to take it and when he’d rather leave. It wasn’t even really a relationship, just protracted pain brightened by occasional tender spots. I lived for those tender spots. Neither of us knew what we were doing, but he was cruel. I thought that was how your first love was supposed to be – I thought it was supposed to rip your heart out. Clearly I’d read far too much YA fiction… by the time I wrote the song, I felt hopeless and exhausted, but still in it – still stuck on this guy and just wondering how much longer I would be in that position, unable to let go because I’d spent so much time in that mental space.
4. Dream of Yourself
My dad is an amateur dream interpreter. I imagine he stumbled across this interest while listening to a podcast in his endless search for knowledge or talking to my mother about her incredibly vivid dreams – but he is bang on a good deal of the time, and he’s shared with me a lot of interesting knowledge. One of the tidbits of information he’s given me is that often when we dream of someone, they don’t represent themselves in the dream, but rather they are a placeholder for the parts of ourselves that contain the qualities we attribute to them. This makes sense to me, but… sometimes I can’t wrap my head around it and I stubbornly believe I’m really just dreaming about that person. I wrote this song in May 2011, one morning at 3 am, about a dream that my on-again off-again love had about me. In the dream he was pulling me out of the water over and over, but I kept falling back in. It didn’t seem at the time like it could be anything other than what it was.
Learning that time will never stop passing can be infinitely comforting, and also incredibly sad. I wrote this while looking back on a mess I’d made and wrestling with the inevitability of change. You really just can’t fight time.