Mercy Union are pleased to present ‘Be Honest,’ a new track released today that comes on the heels of ‘White Tiger,’ the trio’s second full-length studio album. Inspired by the newfound interplay between co-vocalists and guitarists Jared Hart and Rocky Catanese, ‘Be Honest’ reveals a major breakthrough in how the longstanding writing pair approach the sharing of ideas.
“Sometimes when lyrics are as personal as these are, putting them under a microscope with someone else can be wildly uncomfortable and can even turn defensive,” Hart says. “This time the exact opposite happened, and Rocky allowed me to poke and prod through his headspace to mold some of these lines and melodies. In the end, we ended up with the most collaborative song in Mercy Union’s playlist, and probably my favorite to play live.”
Catanese adds, “Looking back, it’s funny that we landed on the title of ‘Be Honest’ because the lyrics are some of the most honest I’ve ever had in a song. When I brought the original idea to the band, I was speaking from a very real and dark place that I had reached. I, thankfully, was able to vent some of those feelings into the song, and the way Jared took what I had done and helped turn it into the vocals you hear has made it continue to be a relief from the bad days. I’m so happy that other folks will finally get to hear it.”
Inspired by memories of Hart’s formative years and the connection to late-nineties/early-aughts radio rock his older sister would blast in her car, the songs on ‘White Tiger’ not only capture the spirit and essence of those years and the powerful magic of its music, but are bursting at the seams with it. A homage to that pivotal time in Hart’s life, ‘White Tiger’ is a wide-eyed and windows-down rush that ties in his newfound confidence as a musician with the music of his youth.
Additionally, Mercy Union has announced a number of dates supporting The Menzingers next month, all on the heels of their recent performance at The Bouncing Souls’ yearly Stoked For The Summer at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ. The tour will begin on August 10 in Lansing, MI and culminate in a performance at the Sherman Theatre in Stroudsburg, PA on August 25.
Recorded at Audio Pilot Studios by Rob Freeman, mixed by Gates’ Kevin Ann Dye and mastered by Mike Kalajian, ‘White Tiger,’ the latest album from Mercy Union, would proudly sit alongside any of the albums that were instrumental in shaping frontman Jared Hart’s musical identity. Yet while these songs do honor the bands behind those records, they also acutely redefine the kind of band that the members of Mercy Union — completed by Rocky Catanese (guitar/vocals) and Nick Jorgensen (bass/vocals) — aim to be while simultaneously reinforcing the sheer force of their talent.
It’s a statement of intent and a doubling down of ambition, as well as a set of songs that had the whole weight of existence on their shoulders. “The ultimate theme going into this record,” explains Hart, “was if this is the last record I ever make, I’m going to make the thing I’ve always wanted to make.”
That sense of urgency, determination and creative freedom are the driving forces behind this brand new showcase. Because ‘White Tiger’ — named for the ceramic white tiger brought back from Japan by Hart’s grandfather and which the band used as a votive during the recording process — doesn’t just honor the past, it captures the tension and uncertainty of the present day, too, and is very much a record made in, for and about these dark, difficult times. And although these songs rail against that darkness, Hart isn’t afraid to reveal his vulnerable side in his full-throated attempt at going for broke. “I made this album because I wanted it to sound like this,” Hart summarizes. “I wanted to hear this record — it’s one I personally think is missing from my library.”
Mercy Union will be making the following appearances in 2023. Dates below with more to be added soon.
* with The Menzingers, Prince Daddy & The Hyena
August 10th – Grewall Hall – Lansing, MI
August 11th – Musica – Akron, OH
August 12th – Wildwood Saloon – Iowa City, IA
August 13th – Slowdown – Omaha, NE
August 15th – Piere’s – Fort Wayne, IN
August 16th – Majestic Theatre – Madison, WI
August 17th – Castle Theatre – Bloomington, IL
August 18th – The Mill & Mine – Knoxville, TN
August 19th – 40 Watt – Athens, GA
August 20th – Vinyl Music Hall – Pensacola, FL
August 22nd – Underbelly – Jacksonville, FL
August 23rd – The Senate – Columbia, SC
August 24th – Salvage Station – Asheville, NC
August 25th – Sherman Theatre – Stroudsburg, PA