The Mermaids are Hillel Arnold (guitar, bass, vocals) and Josh Gardner (guitar, harmonica, vocals). Since they began playing together in 2004, they have released two records (a self-titled EP and the full-length LP “On Wolfe Island”), 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, 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.
The Mermaids recorded their self-titled EP in Brooklyn with friend and producer Chris Brown(Bourbon Tabernacle Choir, Citizens’ Band, Open Hearts Society). It featured contributions from Tony Scherr, Jason Mercer, Carolyn Mark, and Melwood Cutlery, and received radio play on WFUV 90.7 FM. They recorded their first full-length LP, “On Wolfe Island,” in Brooklyn, Bath (ON), and Wolfe Island (ON). Also produced by Chris Brown, it featured Anton Fier, Kate Fenner, the Abrams Brothers, Cam Giroux, and many others. 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.
As of early 2013, 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 last record, this one will feature a more stripped-down production and be performed 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.