New Zealand singer songwriter Bruno Merz will release a new album ‘Whisper Turn’ in January 2018. Some three months ahead, he’s allowed the world an early glimpse of what to expect, as the title track is already streaming on Soundcloud.
The track itself is just lovely. It starts out with a sparse voice and guitar; a warm and inviting feel that harkens back to Nick Drake and John Renbourn. Merz constantly uses his voice to draw in the ear, until droning sounds and sparse drums evoke the moodiness of fellow Kiwi, Hannah In The Wars.
You can hear ‘Whisper Turn’ below. The full press release regarding the forthcoming album also appears after the stream.
Undeniably himself, 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.
Born in New Zealand to Dutch parents, Bruno spent much of his childhood running wild in the bush, jumping out of classroom windows, and seeking adventure in his own imaginary world. His home was full of instruments and classical records, but he was most at home in the woods or by the sea. Teenage Bruno and his siblings were enthusiastic songwriters, forming bands with names that changed daily.
By the time he was twenty, Bruno had a degree in 2D animation, a large student debt, and a deep desire to see the world. With a cheap guitar on his back, he moved to France, where he worked on farms, yelling ‘allez mouton’ at the sheep, drinking wine in the sunshine and contemplating his own existence. He earned just enough to make his way to Holland, where he knew the language and also had a few distant family friends.
Broke, lost, and alone, Bruno wandered the streets of Amsterdam, counting pennies for food, at times not knowing where he’d sleep at night. This experience inspired ‘Nine Sixteen’, the first song that would eventually make its way onto his debut album ‘Departing from Crowds’, a collection from his rambling days in Holland – a period of desperation and healing. He found work in animation and illustration in Amsterdam, as well as the first love of his life… and eventually his first heartbreak too.
Today, Bruno lives in the UK with his Canadian ballerina wife and spends his days writing and recording his songs. His popularity has grown worldwide following the success of his 2014 debut album ‘Highways’. The single “Emmeline” received millions plays on Spotify in the months following the release with well 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.
With his imminent move to settle down in Canada this year, Bruno certainly feels far from the guitar-toting twenty-something lost in Amsterdam so many years ago, though he still carries a deep trust in the universe, strength in his soul, and a need to promote peace and healing through his songs, connecting with what is ‘simple’ in an otherwise complicated world.