Mercury Rev Vinyl, CD & tapes by Mercury Rev at Norman Records
Well into their third decade as a band making the sweetest chamber pop, Jonathan Donahue and Mercury Rev are still pushing at the boundaries of Indie Rock. Yerself Is Steam was their weird and wonderful 1991 debut album. 1995's See You On The Other Side was a wonderful concoction which mixed improbable sounds with wayward, angular melodies and technicolour-psychedelic sensibilities to make a fun and raucous cacophony.
It took Mercury Rev the best part of a decade, however, to truly break into the mainstream consciousness; they did so with Deserter's Songs in 1998. The record was a huge hit and would open up whole new arenas (and music festivals) for the band. Big, beautiful songs evoked panoramic-wide vistas (‘Goddess On A Hiway’), odes to small mammals (‘Holes’) and Baroque Classical music (‘Opus 40’). Always shot through with a lovelorn melancholy, these were nevertheless songs which reached joyfully anthemic peaks: ‘Delta Sun Bottleneck Stomp’ being a prime example and the ultimate pinnacle on the album.
All Is Dream followed three years later -- a tenderly surreal adventure in symphonic Fantasia-pop which defined the jumping-off point for the rest of the course the band have since charted. In 2015, Mercury Rev gave us The Light In You: a record brimming with star-gazing optimism, sparkle and wonder. The natural conclusion of all this wonderment, though? It’s really anyone’s guess.