By Brittany Rudyck
EDMONTON – Unlike the name suggests, Edmonton’s Mercy Funk are so much more than a funk group. Their first full-length Feel Good has elements of gospel, soul, pop and even hints of twangy country. Mercy Funk’s lead vocalist Crystal Eyo happily shared glimpses into the band’s philosophy and style.
BeatRoute: MF has been around for so many years in the Edmonton community. Was it a conscious thing to take your time releasing your first full-length?
Crystal Eyo: Well we put out an EP in February 2016 and we were nominated for an Edmonton Music Award for the song “Hey,” so that was pretty cool for our first thing out there. Last year we had a digital release. For this album we wanted to make something that encompasses our different personalities and influences. These 10 songs reflect all the little corners of MF. We worked really hard on this.
BR: Angela (Proulx) was quoted in another interview as saying this album isn’t necessarily funk. Can you speak a bit about the sound for Feel Good and how it reflects who you are now as a band?
CE: It’s a definite misconception that we’re a funk band. I don’t think we’ve ever considered ourselves that. When I first met Angela she wanted to start a funk band, but I would say we have more of a pop influence. I like to think we have a really strong rhythm section; Angela takes her bass lines very seriously and likes to be creative and innovative with what she does. She and Kevin (Gaudet), our drummer, are really jelling lately. That being said, this album is simply supposed to do as the title suggests, make you Feel Good. We wrote about love, loss and all the things you go through in life, really. I think it has a really well rounded message. We just make the kind of music we want to make.
BR: With a band like yours that seems to be very mutable, it seems choosing a genre would pigeonhole the creative process.
CE: Yeah! I’m biased obviously, but I really feel that our music sounds like Mercy Funk. I lot of times you can hear a few bands across a genre and a lot of them sound the same. I feel like we sound like ourselves. There aren’t many bands that sound like us, especially in Edmonton.
BR: From an outsider perspective it seems like the band is more of… not just a band that puts out music and records, but a brand and entity that interacts with the community.
CE: That is really nice of you to say! For me personally, I want to create that brand. Like with LoveFest, that’s something we want to do every year for people to look forward to. We want people to expect an experience at our shows. It’s never going to be perfect, but we do our best with what we have. This is my first band and sometimes it feels like I have no idea what I’m doing, but we keep going together and giving it our all.
Mercy Funk release Feel Good with Carter & the Capitals June 2 at Ritchie Community League (Edmonton).carter & the capitals, Feel Good, Mercy Funk, Ritchie Community League