The Mermaids are Hillel Arnold (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, vocals) and Josh Gardner (acoustic guitar, harmonica, vocals). Since they began playing together in 2004, they have released a successful self-titled EP, played in New York, Boston, and Toronto at venues including the Living Room, Southpaw, the Piston, Hank’s Saloon, and the Coney Island History Project, received radio play on WFUV 90.7 FM, CIUT 89.5 FM, CFRU 93.3 FM, and Harris Radio, and appeared in the 2005 independent film “Gonzo Music Diaries.” Steeped in the darker currents of folk and country music but bursting with the raw immediacy of underground rock and roll, their recordings and live shows have earned comparisons to Neil Young, Nick Drake, and the Velvet Underground.
In 2010, the Mermaids released their first full-length album, “On Wolfe Island.” Recorded in Brooklyn, Bath (ON), and Wolfe Island (ON), it was produced by Chris Brown (Broken Social Scene, Feist) and features Tony Scherr, Jason Mercer, Anton Fier, Kate Fenner, Jason Whiteman (Apostle of Hustle) and the Abrams Brothers. A bonus track from the recording sessions, “When it Happens,” was included in a compilation from the Swim Drink Fish Music Club, which benefits Lake Ontario Waterkeeper.
In 2014, the Mermaids were back in the studio working on their second full-length record. In contrast to the full sound and many contributors that characterized the previous record, this one features a more stripped-down production and will be played entirely by Hillel, Josh, Chris Brown (keyboards), Cam Giroux (drums), and Eli Abrams (bass). Tentatively titled “I Hit my Head on the Disco Ball,” its title will be changed as soon as possible.