Because Mercury is closest to the sun, it is not a planet that is easily seen. It is almost as though being so close to something so pure and full keeps Mercury drawn into itself — a recipient of great energy. Joseph of Mercury is a self-professed introvert with an immense talent. Unlike Mercury, which can only reflect the sun, this artist shines on his own. His voice draws attention and expels power, while pulling other artistic energies into orbit.
On his debut EP, Joseph of Mercury explores the capacity of his voice and his genre-bending capabilities. His craft attracts talent like The Weeknd’s Patrick Greenaway (guitars) and producer Al-P, who come together to form a cohesive record. With a vivid mix of 50s influenced crooning and 80s style synths, Joseph of Mercury transcends time (but perhaps not space) with his compositions.
The tracks on this EP are kinetic. From the bouncy mix of the darkwave infused “Do You Remember” to the urgent, near-panicked vocal riff that punctuates “Young Thing”. Active synths keep these songs on edge. As soon as you get comfortable, the EP shifts and bends towards romantic melodies. “Without Words” even features a whimsical splash of harp.
The focal points of the album come when the dark 80s synths crash against the raw and powerful vocals. On “Angel” a full-bodied, 50s cadence melody entices with sweetness that on second glance is heartbreak. On “Find You Inside”, lost love is twirled around with a hush-then-release strength while sharp electric guitars add depth.
Unlike the moonless Mercury, Joseph is part of community of Toronto artists who are bouncing sounds and themes off each other. The sun aside, Joseph of Mercury shines brightly on his own, and the variety of directions that this debut tilts in proves that he has more shining yet to come.
Top Tracks: “Angel”; “Find You Inside”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)