The debut track from Montreal’s Mercury Messiah, Sunlight Surfing, is surely turning a lot of heads recently. With its nod to the band’s roots in Southern Rock, Mercury Messiah puts a Blues-inspired folk melody to their dynamic sound. Sunlight Surfing is centered around the theme of nostalgia and regret while focusing on the liberation of the present. This happy, feel-good harmonies revolving around a major scale chord progression brings joy to the listener as it is light-hearted and easy to sing along to. What especially caught my attention was the way vocalist Johnny Dims channels his inner Robert Plant to deliver a lyrical performance worthy of the comparison. Sunlight Surfing is sung almost entirely in the upper register while using a less falsetto to resolve his cadences. This style of vocals remind me of early Black Crowes, and styling similar to Greta Van Fleet. Guitarist Mano Diles clearly uses some early British Rock inspired licks to highlight the stanzas giving this acoustic number a call and response style, which is what separates Mercury Messiah from the other Southern Rock inspired resurgent bands we have been seeing lately. The rhythm section made up of Alex Brunel on drums and bass player, Corrado Johnston stays perfectly in the pocket with each other allowing the expressiveness of the two front players to veer from the melody while always having a perfect downbeat to return to.
Sunlight Surfing offers fans of classic rock, new rock, and pop-rock a vessel to add wonderful new music to their playlists. This track would fit perfectly into any of the mentioned radio formats as the replayability of this track remains very high. The original sound is refreshing as listeners need expressive, content music these days, as we battle a very unsettling environment. Sunlight Surfing is a powerful tribute to the classic sound yet gently nods to the contemporary, paving a new sub-genre in its wake, a blues jam boogie perhaps. Sunlight Surfing is a very enjoyable track, it has infectious choruses, incredible musical talent all around while delivering a mature, professional performance that clearly puts the song first over individual ego. The production is well-executed as all frequencies are professionally blended with plenty of allotted headroom. A must for any fan of the genre.