(photo: Ginger Fierstein)
Meernaa’s frontwoman Carly Bond is a charming goofball — perhaps not entirely what one might expect after hearing her pour so much soul into the songs off their newest album, Heart Hunger.
“Sometimes people are like, ‘Hey, Meernaa!’ And I’m like ‘Oops, nope! It’s Carly!’” says Bond when asked about the band’s name (it’s actually the name of the street she grew up on). So no, Meernaa is not one person but is the effort of a full band of killer-diller musicians whose collaborative energy is a rare find. After releasing some singles and LPs over the last couple years, busting out quite the buzz-inducing set at SXSW last March and playing as John Vanderslice’s band for his spring tour, Oakland’s Meernaa releases their first full album off Native Cat Records on June 14 and it’s living up to the hype.
Listening to Heart Hunger all in one go is a fantastic and moving experience. Hunger moves from funky soul in “Ready to Break” to hypnotic, cryptic blues in “Black Diamond Mine,” then to gyrating syrup in “Better Part.” It’s reflective and sad; energetic and calming. There are moments when the keys and beats and bass undulate into an otherworldly place, but the connectivity of the vocals and the lyrics themselves keep us grounded and safe. The album is not so out-there that you have to be a wizard to appreciate the beauty of what they’ve composed, but it’s so magically compiled that even masters might tip their hat….