Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer, Steven Mercyhill's music explores the shadowy underbelly of alternative rock with a sensibility that’s brooding, ethereal, and edgy. The Cleveland, Ohio-based artist's songs teem with introspective lyrics, psychedelic eccentricities, relentless hooks, and sleek industrial touches. Steven has garnered favorable comparisons to early Radiohead and present-day Muse. His soon to be released debut album, Nonfiction, is a vibrantly varied and visceral collection.
Steven furthers the Cleveland and Northeast Ohio area's rich lineage of pioneering industrial-spirited artists such as Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Prick, and Filter, yet adds his own signature to this tradition, incorporating impressionistic melodic motifs, surreal dreamscapes, a Bowie-esque sense of drama and elegance, and impactfully hooky songcraft.
Apart from music for his new release, he has also composed soundtracks for the films A.W.O.L and Rock and Roll Boulevard by award-winning, experimental filmmaker Robert Banks. In addition, he’s written film trailer theme music for the Chicago and New York Underground Film Festivals.
Having earned his degree in English, Steven draws inspiration as much from the world of literature as from the world of music. “I've always been a fan of writers from the absurdist camp like Lewis Carroll, and those who play with language like James Joyce, or the French surrealists like Cocteau. I'm very much influenced by the poetry of T.S. Elliot, especially his phrasing and the inherent rhythm of his sentences. Getting a feel for that is very conducive to writing song lyrics,” Steven adds.
For his upcoming album, Nonfiction, Steven has enlisted the talents of many respected music vets. His album boasts contributions from such notable producers and engineers as Sean Beavan (Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, Pucifer), Michael Seifert (Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Tori Amos, Fountains of Wayne), Jim Stewart (Welshly Arms, Eddie Levert), Mastering Engineers Tom Baker (David Bowie, Ministry, My Chemical Romance), and Abbey Road's Miles Showell (The Beatles vinyl remaster, Portishead, The Church).
Nonfiction features meticulously crafted songs that are instantly memorable. “I try to make sure each of my songs earns its existence. No one owes your song a listen just because you bothered to write it,” Steven remarks. Select album highlights include “Anesthetic,” “You Are Your Own Undoing,” “Wide-Awake Nightmare,” and “World To Burn.”
Up next, as venues begin to re-open, he plans to tour, continue writing and recording songs for future albums and is also working on some sync deals for film and television. Steven is fortunate to have the active support and guidance of industry veterans such as John A. Malm, Jr., who managed Trent Reznor for over 20 years and is co-owner of Nothing Records, a label that has featured artists such as Marilyn Manson, The The, and Pop Will Eat Itself, among other notable bands on its roster. “Having people on my side who believe in my music and who have such credibility in the music industry and record of success on the world stage tells me I'm on the right track.” Steven says.