Liam Merrigan - The Synthetic Orchid - Stereo Stickman

Liam Merrigan The Synthetic Orchid


Classic indie rock and heartfelt integrity light up this openly reflective new album The Synthetic Orchid, from the UK’s own Liam Merrigan.

Bringing together the talents of songwriter, guitarist and singer Liam Merrigan, with lead guitarist Doug Essen, bassist Mark Tanner, and drummer Ian Vallance, The Synthetic Orchid offers a consistently humble, natural collection of rock tracks, which prove all at once timeless and refreshingly honest.

Beginning with Nevermine, The Synthetic Orchid is quick to assert itself as a nostalgic indie rock project of anthemic intentions and personal yet relatable storytelling. There’s an accessible, guy-next-door kind of humility to the leading voice, and this guides us through a musically impressive, engaging array of songs with confidence and heart.

The mood remains for Burning Bridges, featuring James Johnson on keys, a nineties-style soft-rock sentiment and vibe elevating poetic references to kick off an hypnotic journey that’s increasingly immersive throughout The Synthetic Orchid.

Ghost of A Memory is easily one of the most enchanting and memorable songs of the album, its soulful meandering guitar-line and the poetic depths of the writing meet with a smooth rock groove and quickly prompt the mind to wander.

Oh so Young follows, featuring Nick Beere, with another worthy melody, short lines that rise and fall, and a funk riff helping the rise up towards a brighter chorus tinged with melancholy and a slightly grunge-like resolve.

Journeys End brings through further short lines and a harmonized hook for another ear-worm that effectively draws interest in the live show. Then we get the upfront bass-line and infectious rhythm of Old Man’s Words, a story that captivates and a longer-form chorus that offers an inspiring central declaration.

Bringing things to a finish is the deeply contemplative This Human Guise, hitting with a little more impact on each revisit – thought provoking and hypnotic as ever for this rhythmic vocal arrangement of call-and-response lines. James Johnson again features on keys, with Jack Moore injecting a soaring rock energy for his unique closing mix.

Throughout The Synthetic Orchid, the vibe is something like the indie rock era of the noughties, occasionally reminiscent of Manic Street Preachers or REM, at other times rising up towards a heavier rock feel.

In short, it’s a wholly enveloping listen, familiar yet fresh in character; and in how inviting and inclusive the lyrics and instrumentals are. An easy place to escape right now, and no doubt a great project to let play at volume on the long commute.

Find Liam Merrigan on Facebook.

Rebecca Cullen

Founder & Editor

Founder, Editor, Musician & MA Songwriter

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