Nicholas Merz has already made a name for himself with Darto, but now he stretches the proverbial wings of soloness with his new upcoming album titled ‘The Limits of Men’ on Aago Records. The lead track, ‘Bulled Rose’, is a mashup of folk, alt-country, and delicious dirtiness thrown together into a melting pot of originality and thrust forth into the ears of the eager.

‘The Limits of Men’ will be available on vinyl and also online through music stores and streaming platforms on Friday, June 1 in the USA and on Friday, July 6 in the EU with both versions being released via Aagoo Records. It can already be pre-ordered via Bandcamp.

'The Limits of Men' cover.
‘The Limits of Men’ cover.

About Nicholas Merz
After releasing six albums with the Seattle indie rock explorers Darto, Nicholas Merz has finally made his first solo album. This entails a collection of work is based on ideas he’s been thinking about since his teens.

The nine tracks on offer cover a broad spectrum ranging from upbeat alternative with true similarities to Darto, Nick Cave and Iggy Pop to singer-songwriter elements and even a few selections for an imaginary spaghetti western soundtrack.

“This record has been swimming in my mind since my teen years. My mother and father were in country bands, and as much as I tried to run away from it when I was younger because it symbolized all the bigoted, sexist rednecks that I grew up with, I eventually secretly embraced it by my teen years,” explains Nicholas Merz.

“I wouldn’t call this a country record, as much as a record resulting from that dynamic with country music. The record is a social critique of straight white men, masculinity and all the cultural expectations that come with being raised as such. I quit my job to write and record it, so I just hear a really poor and vulnerable person approaching 30 trying their best to disarm masculinity at 3 am. I feel like it has a dreamy night time quality because it was recorded at odd hours.”

Rather than anyone else’s music, Merz says he was more influenced by his sisters Candace and Leanna Harter, his mother and writers like Flannery O’Conner and Raymond Carver.

By day Nicholas repairs, and builds instruments out of Seattle Washington. Between that and touring and writing with Darto, Merz has managed to write and record this album between December 2016 and February 2017 in his home studio.

Its offerings feature Darto bandmates Candace Harter, Gordon De Los Santos and Gregory Flores, his father Michael Blackbird, as well as friends Hiroshi Matsubara and Jeffery White. It was mixed by Cory Hanson and mastered by JJ Golden.

“A high energy positive full-throttle track with proper Iggy drive, but it entails a sonic journey in the same storytelling way as Nick Cave regularly delivers, albeit with more intricate captivating twists and turns. This is perfect”
– Big Takeover Magazine