I don’t know more than a handful of bands coming from New Zealand – most of them produced music back in the 80s and 90s (Split Enz and Crowded House are the first two coming to mind). Oh, and of course recent artists Lorde and No Wyld. What I can say is that I’m happy about my newest discovery – folk minstrel Bruno Merz… and when I say minstrel, I do mean in the sense of the ‘wandering minstrel’ we’ve come to envision.
Originally from New Zealand but of Dutch parents, his youth took him back to Europe in order visit family and get to know his ancestors’ culture, just as much as it brought him to a new phase of his life when it comes to writing and performing music. After many years back and forth between New Zealand, mainland Europe in the UK, he’s just recently settled in Canada.
Today we present his new single ‘Breathe Less’, which releases on November 8 and is actually a cover tune. Considering that fact, I would have to say that he has made it his own, very much like Willie Nelson came to master and deliver his own personal stamp on every cover song he ever did. I so admired him for that. Bruno Merz’ vocals come across as truly sincere, as one who has been through the ordeals sang about first hand.
“I did a tour of the UK last year with my dear friend Reece Jacob. This was one of the songs he would sing every night opening for us. I fell in love with it and asked him if he would let me cover it. I was very happy when he said yes and hope I’ve done it justice! It’s a song I feel I can very much relate to after experiencing a similar traumatic break up many years ago,” says Bruno Merz.
The music of Bruno Merz is an unaffected and pure representation of who he is. Influenced by Gillian Welch, Bob Dylan, Sufjan Stevens, Iron and Wine, Paul Simon, Julee Cruise, Ron Sexsmith, Gabriel Yared and Nick Drake, his lyrics communicate truths discovered through life’s gifts and tests. He inspires those who are lost to find what is missing, and to trust that it’s already there.
Bruno spends his days writing and recording songs. His popularity has grown worldwide following the success of his 2014 debut album ‘Highways’ with the single “Emmeline” played millions of times on Spotify in the months following the release at over 300,000 listeners per month. Since then, he has also written a classical score for the Northern Ballet’s production ‘Tortoise and the Hare’, which toured the UK and was televised by the BBC.
Just last month, Merz released the single ‘Whisper Turn’, which met with wide acclaim from publications in at least four continents.
You can also enjoy his other recent 2017 release Home Soon Live
While ‘Breathe Less’ doesn’t release until Wednesday, already now you can find other releases by Bruno Merz on the artist’s Bandcamp at https://brunomerz.bandcamp.com