Today, MRCY shares their debut project, VOLUME 1 via Dead Oceans, including their focus single “California.” The hotly-tipped duo will play their first sold-out headline show at London’s Lower Third on June 11th and have appearances set for summer festivals such as Great Escape, Green Man, Forwards, All Points East (alongside Loyle Carner & Andre 3000) and End of the Road.



VOLUME 1 immediately marks MRCY as one of the year’s most exciting new acts. Its 8 tracks showcase a timeless musical maturity as well as Barney and Kojo’s ability to speak directly to the challenges – and the joys – of everyday life. Having worked through grief on “Flowers In Mourning,” ruminated over lost love on “Lorelei” and savored the simple pleasures on “R.L.M,” their focus single “California” provides a wistful, psychedelic meditation on the appearance and the reality of city life. The band comments: “‘California’ is actually about London, but more specifically the night-and-day perception of somewhere beyond the surface. For the most part, they might seem like decent places to live, but you’ll see struggle, hardship, poverty and mental warfare right alongside lives that are flourishing. ‘California’ is about feeling powerless to help even in a place that claims to be one of opportunity.”

Although formidably accomplished for a first project, MRCY has clearly hustled hard to make work in their own voice. Born amidst Huddersfield’s melting-pot culture, Barney has established himself as one of the UK’s most in-demand, eclectic young producers, ranging from an Ivor Novello Award for his long-standing collaboration with Obongjayar to Mercury-nominated artists like Joy Crookes and Olivia Dean. Just last month, Barney snagged yet another Ivor Novello nomination for his songwriting contributions to METTE’s hit single “Mama’s Eyes.” South London-raised Kojo, meanwhile, earned his stripes in church as well as singing with equally illustrious homegrown artists Cleo Sol, Little Simz and Jungle. They first connected over Instagram during the pandemic, writing “R.L.M” on their very first day together between restrictive local lockdowns in Brixton and realizing that they were embarking on something special. Today, their vision of Soul through the looking-glass draws inspiration ranging from childhood greats (Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye) to Afrobeats, Dub, and genre-melding modernists like Khruangbin or Sault – “it’s like hearing a distant memory,” Barney says, “but one that speaks to where you are now.”

For Barney and Kojo, MRCY is as much about putting yourself first as it is the spirit of compassion, empathy and m(e)rcy that has never felt more needed. VOLUME 1 is bound by a striking visual aesthetic made in collaboration with Harris Elliot which warps AI, Adinkra symbolism and British iconography into a look – and sound – that is already recognizably their own. As its title hints, there are also plans for an ensuing second volume of MRCY, with the duo continuing to produce tracks that not only give Barney and Kojo a place to belong but their listeners a space to feel, heal and be themselves as well.