The Merindas We Sing Until Sunrise

The Merindas We Sing Until Sunrise

As their third single, 'I Feel It' is sparking some radio love around the country, Melbourne-based, trailblazing electro R&B pop duo, The Merindas will release their debut album, 'We Sing Until Sunrise (Ngaangk Nookertiny Ngala Warangka)'.


Comprising eight tracks of pop gems – full of delicious harmonies, youthful electro vibes and meaningful lyrics, the album was initially intended for release in late April, at the end of The Merindas' first national headline tour, which came to an abrupt halt due to COVID-19.


After a well-received at home performance last month as part of Isol-Aid Festival, there is strong desire to hear more from these Indigenous warrior queens, and the wait will soon be over.


The Merindas are the collective force of Candice Lorrae of Jawoyn and Thursday Island heritage (born in Darwin) and Ballardong Whadjuk and Nyoongar woman Kristel Kickett (from Tammin, Western Australia), bringing an on-trend style of rhythmic, expressive and beautiful music dedicated to their cultural heritage. They describe their unique sound as "electronic pop with a dancehall feel, alongside hip hop and R&B influences."


With three singles under their belt (We Sing Until Sunrise, I Feel It and Before Daylight), their hotly anticipated debut album We Sing Until Sunrise ("'Ngaangk Nookertiny Ngala Warangka'- which simply means that we are forever singing, forever dancing and forever celebrating our culture"). 

Says Candice Lorrae, 'Our debut album release is more exciting and meaningful than ever! With all delays on the live circuit, it's a time to sit back and appreciate all the hard work and creativity poured into this album. It's been three years in the making, not even a pandemic can kill this vibe.'  


Says Kristel Kickett, 'This album feels like a rewarding gift during this time. Even though our national tour and album release were postponed due to COVID-19, I'm so excited to share and give out some positive vibes to everyone through our music. We've waited so long for this moment, so I think it's a perfect time to release, despite what's going down.' 


Collectively, The Merindas emphasise that 'there is no better time to be releasing music in such an historical year when the world needs it most. For us, this album is electrifying and the production is top notch! When listening to the album you can hear our voices singing out to the spirits and the depth in the music grounding us to the earth. Our sound empowers us and we hope that it does the same to everyone else. The Merindas' messaging has always been about believing in yourself and never giving up, now is a perfect time to be sending this message.'


The Merindas began in 2012 when Candice assembled a vocal outfit to cover Motown-era classics at the Perth premiere of the hit film The Sapphires, chronicling an iconic '60s Indigenous Australian girl group. They savoured a standing ovation – and were booked for another (sold-out) show. The Motown Girls became The Merindas, meaning 'beautiful woman' in the Eora language (spoken in New South Wales). Candice formed the final incarnation of The Merindas with her soul sister Kristel, the pair meeting at Western Australia's renowned Abmusic College.The Merindas' Motown phase would be transitory. Perhaps inevitably, Candice and Kristel gravitated back to their high school love of pop, R&B and hip-hop, adorning themselves as glamourous slaying queens and immersing themselves in music from the likes of Spice Girls, Salt 'N Pepa and TLC. Both singer/songwriters, The Merindas were determined to shape an original R&B/pop. They'd embrace modish electronic and club genres, too: future bass, dancehall and Afrobeat. As such, The Merindas developed a unique sonic aesthetic with soulful harmonies, energetic rhythms and something intangible. 


For their live shows, The Merindas are regally DIY – assuming full creative control of their music, costumes, styling and visuals. 


At the heart of The Merindas is their complex cultural identity as First Nations women. Kristel is a proud Ballardong Whadjuk and Nyoongar woman from Tammin in WA. Meanwhile, Candice, born in the Northern Territory, has Jawoyn and Thursday Islander (or Torres Strait Islander) heritage. She moved to Perth in childhood, being raised on Nyoongar country. 


The Merindas were inspired to sing in the Nyoongar language, telling traditional stories through music, following WA folk legend Gina Williams. The duo have already achieved much. They received an early Deadly Award nomination as 'Most Promising New Talent' on the basis of their live charisma alone. Then, in 2015, The Merindas won 'Indigenous WAM Song Of The Year' for their cult fave 'Ready To Love'. The next year, The Merindas officially launched with the stirring single 'We Sing Until Sunrise' – which they performed in Singapore at The Aussie BBQ as part of Music Matters Live, SLUMBERJACK headlining. The Merindas even featured on Downsyde's hip-hop opus ClassicILL. They showcased at 2018's BIGSOUND. And have been billed alongside everyone from Brandy to Jessica Mauboy to Mojo Juju to Craig David. The Merindas eventually relocated to Melbourne, the city offering new associations, opportunities and perspectives. Here, Candice and Kristel were soon exposed to fresh influences, prompting them to rework album material they'd cut back in their Perth home studio. Crucially, The Merindas were introduced to an exciting collaborator in New Zealand producer Frank Eliesa, keyboardist in the band Yoko-Zuna, at APRA AMCOS' inaugural First Nations SongHubs (curated by Briggs) and who impressed them with his ability to shape and blend their voices into perfect harmonies. In late 2019, They aired their second banger, 'Before Daylight', narrating a Nyoongar Dreaming story about the thwarted love between a man and a woman who transform into entwined trees – and accompanied by their first video.The Merindas hope to get back into touring as soon as possible, so that not only may they continue to share their music and grow their audiences, but they wish to continue to run workshops in Indigenous communities for girls, their creative leadership program encompassing fashion, modelling and dance. The Merindas are also members of Jimblah's First Sounds collective, advocating for greater Indigenous Australian representation in the music industry.