The Mermaids are Hillel Arnold and Josh Gardner, with help from regular collaborators such as Chris Brown, Eli Abrams, and Cam Giroux. Hillel and Josh first met in 2004, and quickly bonded over their shared love of musicians such as Woody Guthrie, Neil Young, the Velvet Underground, and the Clash. They met Chris Brown shortly thereafter, while playing around New York’s Lower East Side, sparking a fertile collaboration that has produced one EP, two full-length albums, and memorable live shows.
The Mermaids play underground rock and roll that borrows freely from folk, old-school country, and punk rock. Their lyrics have explored, among other things, the struggles of working people, outcasts and underdogs (both historical and present), traveling and returning home, hidden energies and secret moments of grace, freedom and dissent, the cross-pollination of cultures and the movement of ideas, and our efforts to come to grips with the past and imagine the future.
The Mermaids have played live shows in New York, Toronto, Boston, and Washington, DC, received college radio play, and appeared in the 2005 independent film “Gonzo Music Diaries.”
Photos by Azra Dawood, Thom Jordan, Claire Michaels, Curtis Millard, and Aileen Nowlan.