A Quality of Mercy
Released as a limited 12" single pressed onto clear vinyl and limited to 500 copies.
1. A Quality of Mercy
2. That's All
Led by Romy Vager (the a band was once called Romy Vager Group), A Quality Of Mercy is an astonishing debut which borrows from the band’s heroes —the Go-Betweens, the Soft Boys, the Smiths— whilst never sounding like homage or pastiche hitting that sweet spot between light and dark, employing guitars both angular and jangling.
A Quality Of Mercy, was born from Vager imagining herself in the mind of the Bali Nine, a group of Australians convicted for attempting to smuggle heroin out of Indonesia in 2005, and features the instantly immortal couplet: “Staring at the ceiling, feeling numb/thinking about the readers of the Herald-Sun”.
It’s a song about empathy and perspective; two things in short supply in tabloid newspapers, on social media, in a world turning more steadfastly partisan by the day. Its title comes from an episode of The Twilight Zone (“The Fall had a few songs named after Twilight Zone episodes, too, which I like,” Vager says, chuffed), in which an American GI holds the fate of Japanese soldiers in his hands, then finds himself in the shoes of a Japanese soldier, holding the fate of Americans in his hands. In its call for understanding over moral posturing, the song rings out like a clarion call.