The genesis for Mermaid Motor Lounge came when Packway Handle Band members Josh Erwin and Troy Harris began playing duo shows to showcase Erwin’s newest songs, but before long, they started scooping up musicians like they were the Avengers building their dream team. Although Erwin said he didn’t write Mermaid’s songs to intentionally be an anti-Packway sound, he did admit that the heavy use of sustain, reverb and electric guitar on their debut album Fits and Starts came from “rarely using it while playing all acoustic/string band music.” However, for those of you who hope to hear a hint of the Packway vibe, the vocal arrangments and harmonies will make you feel right at home.

After spending 15 years in the Packway Handle Band, playing shows across the country, you might expect Josh Erwin and fellow Packway member Troy Harris to be a little burnt out, but Erwin compares playing with Mermaid to that “new girlfriend feeling.” Saying further, “The excitement comes from arranging these songs and playing and singing them with these particular instruments and people.”

Erwin specifically harped on songs like “Missing Pieces,” “Seismic Waves” and “The Engineer” as tracks that have been increasingly fun to play as they’ve filled out the band’s roster. Now that the band is in full swing, though, we’re all in for some real fun. When a band like Mermaid Motor Lounge shows up on the scene with as much passion, talent and experience as they do, it’s a surefire recipe for a great time.

In Josh Erwin’s words, Mermaid Motor Lounge’s mission statement is simple: “To connect people to music and golden mermaids through songs they never knew they’d ever hear.”