Wigan band Merry Hell sing Emergency Lullabies on new album

The folk-rock group is spreading messages of hope, love and togetherness in dark times.
Merry HellMerry Hell
Merry Hell

Their sixth full-length release Emergency Lullabies is made up of 14 new songs from the band's five-strong writing team.

The project brings to the forefront the group’s concern for environmental issues and the state of the planet, with a trio of songs tackling climate change head on.

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And the eight-piece had to confront the problems of the Covid-19 pandemic in the process of creating the album while the events of 2020 are also reflected in the subject matter.

Despite that, the album has positive messages and celebrates community and togetherness even in difficult circumstances.

In a statement announcing the album, the band wrote: “Full of love, hope and togetherness, Emergency Lullabies is truthful, joyful, powerful and gentle.

“It is who we are, what we do and everything we wish for.

“Love, in all its forms, runs through Emergency Lullabies like the proverbial stick of rock.

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“Our concern for planet Earth and respect for the young people who have taken up the challenge of its defence is expressed and there are also songs of social observation and commentary, of remaining true to our beliefs and acting together rather than being forced apart.

“In case this all sounds too serious, there is of course room for a wry smile or two at the state of our world.”

Even when tackling a subject as grim as climate breakdown on the tracks Leave It In The Ground, Sister Atlas and Emergency Lullaby (Wasting Time) Merry Hell ensure there are messages of hope for the future, saying there is still time to the heed the warnings about environmental devastation and take action to turn the crisis around and create a brighter, greener future.

The three songs with eco-messages are included on the album having been originally released earlier this year as The Hourglass Trilogy.

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The new album also contains Beyond The Call, a tribute to the NHS penned by guitarist John Kettle on the night the UK went into lockdown.

The mass voices of the Key Workers Chorus and the Social Isolation Choir feature on the track and also on We Are Different, We Are One, with the element of collaboration emphasising the ideas of strength in unity and community.

The band also takes a look at love and togetherness from the perspective of the later years on the new album while another reflection on getting older comes in Moonlight Parade, a track started by fiddler Neil McCartney three decades ago and finished with the help of the band’s bouzouki player Bob Kettle.

Emergency Lullabies began to take shape when Merry Hell gathered in a cottage in the Jura Mountains in France before the process moved to a studio in Wigan.

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Covid-19, though, soon interfered in the creation of the album, leading to the members having to record themselves remotely before sending all the contributions to producer John Kettle to be woven together into the finished product.

Emergency Lullabies, by Merry Hell, is out now.

For more information visit www.merryhell.co.uk

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