Rike - Ol' Merle
The Swedish due Rike are back with a new single "Ol' Merle" and much like the last song we recommended from them "This Town" it is packed to the rafters full of Americana hooks and sounds.
"Ol' Merle" is obviously paying tribute to Merle Haggard who is a big songwriting inspiration to the band and he has certainly inspired them to write something remarkable that immediately stands out.
An opening 10 seconds of singing to an acoustic guitar gives little clue as to the barrage of sound about to explode on your eardrums
"When Baby is gone there ain't nothing much to do except drinking!"
The word "drinking" is the cue for things to speed up and the Americana romp begins. The song sees two characters separated, one "out seeing the world" the other left behind lonesome with only "Ol Merle" for company.
Nisel on vocals has the ability to subtly twist her vocal delivery, when the song starts she is mourning the absence of her partner and seems accepting in her position. By the second verse she is "spiralling out of control" and sounding a little weary.
There is a beautiful contrast between the basic bass guitar solo which comes up against a full throated harmonica, one so full of character..
The real kicker and twist in the song comes with the final verse, which initially seems to mirror the first with the noticable difference being that they are reunited.
"When Baby is home,,,," however as things once again to speed up as we find out "There ain't much of a change!"
"I'm still here crying to Ol Merle!"
It's a great lead in to the next album and with another single promised next month with bongo drums and a heavy bass and drum groove - there has bever been a better time to get to know Rike.