Single of the Week: Mima Merrow – Secret Codes review

by Craig Howieson

Life is all about doors unlocking: opportunities grasped, and love fought for and won – or lost – depending on your luck. But there is no magic key that will grant us access to this imagined future, and no cheat sheet that will bring us to our goals any quicker than we were meant. On Secret Codes – the latest single from Belfast raised, Glasgow based songwriter, Mima Merrow – we are given an unusually close up examination of the questions that cross all of our minds as we feel at our most cast adrift. The moments when life’s twists and turns seem too complex to comprehend – never mind navigate. 

On first listen, the most startling aspect of the six minute track is that it is largely spoken word. A piano accompaniment veers from barely there before becoming the lifeblood of the song, but not once does your attention drift from Merrow’s lyrics. While some may be frustrated at not having answers readily to hand, Merrow shows a contented acceptance with the fact that these things, like all those worth having, take time.  

‘We leave the most important unsaid,’ she says towards the song’s conclusion. And it is true. Fear often holds us back, and, in that sense, Secret Codes is fearless, as she lays out truth after truth. There may be no secret codes to unlock our hearts and minds, but Merrow suggests that just maybe, through honest dialogue, we can make a start. 

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