Oh Mercy help start the Bleach* arts party ...

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - CONTENTS - – ROSE SADLEIR Oh Mercy, Loon Lake and Ocean­ics play the Coolan­gatta Ho­tel to­mor­row night for the open­ing of *Bleach, which runs un­til March 3.

OH Mercy front­man Alexan­der Gow is a man of mys­tery. Gow doesn’t fancy be­ing de­fined, un­der­stood or taken too se­ri­ously.

Lucky for Gow, he’s found a way to blur the lines be­tween fic­tion and truth by writ­ing from a nar­ra­tive per­spec­tive.

The singer-song­writer says he found free­dom on Oh Mercy’s third al­bum,

Deep Heat, by bury­ing his per­son­al­ity be­hind his mu­sic.

‘‘ Deep Heat came about when I re­alised I wanted to write an al­bum from third per­son. The track My Man is from the per­spec­tive of a woman,’’ Gow says.

‘‘It opened up a whole new vo­cab­u­lary, which was lib­er­at­ing.’’

Turned off by singing about him­self, Gow says he didn’t need to wear a dress to delve his fe­male char­ac­ter’s psy­che.

He says it felt pre­ten­tious to keep singing about his own life and the op­por­tu­nity to ex­plore oth­ers was too tempt­ing.

‘‘There are only cer­tain topics you can sing about and I had cov­ered them. It was time for a change,’’ he says.

‘‘It makes it eas­ier to hide be­hind fic­tion. You can dis­so­ci­ate from the words.’’

The mys­te­ri­ous man’s out­look to­wards mu­sic and sto­ry­telling isn’t al­ways poker-faced – Gow came up with the clever ti­tles for Oh Mercy’s de­but EP,

In the Nude For Love, and sec­ond al­bum, Great Bar­rier Grief.

‘‘Writ­ing in third per­son means you can be more play­ful and have more fun. I do en­joy a good pun and I am pro­fes­sion­ally cheeky,’’ he says.

‘‘I love to be a smart-arse. It’s some­thing that comes up in my lyrics – my sense of hu­mour is in my words.’’

Oh Mercy started mak­ing acous­ticpop tunes when Gow was still in high school. He says he was ea­ger to make a more ‘‘colour­ful and bom­bas­tic’’ record with al­bum num­ber three to dis­so­ci­ate him­self from the per­son oth­ers have made him out to be.

‘‘I don’t want to be a se­ri­ous song­writer, so I had to throw in a curve ball to open the door wider,’’ he says.

‘‘I don’t want to be pi­geon-holed. I don’t think the records de­fine me. ‘‘I don’t want to be de­fined.’’ Look­ing ahead five years, Gow says he hopes the lines be­tween truth, third per­son and fic­tion will be am­bigu­ous.

‘‘It’s an ideal sit­u­a­tion for any song­writer,’’ he says.

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