Toronto based, Anna Horvath aka Merival, releases her debut album, Lesson, on 2nd August. UK dates in September include a Balloon Machine Presents show in Manchester at The Eagle Inn – tickets can be purchased here.
Single, No Breaks, precedes the album, which has garnered critical acclaim from Gold Flake Paint, Clash and The 405. Prior to Lesson‘s release, we caught up with Merival to find out what makes her tick – these are her Sound & Vision picks:
(some) favourite records (all-timers)
1. Cate Le Bon – Mug Museum
every time I listen to Cate Le Bon I laugh out loud! she just sounds like she’s dripping weird words off her fingers without a second thought. in 2016, I found out she existed and that she was playing a show on my 24th birthday within like 10 mins of each other and I went to see her at the Horseshoe in Toronto – that was a sick birthday. I aspire to care as little as she looks like she does. her brand of sort of deadpan nonsense lyrics and really janky arrangements is really poignant to me somehow.
2. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – So Far
probably learned how to harmonize because of this record. I had my mom’s copy on cassette and I used to sit in the middle seat of the mini-van which had its own headphone jack and make her put the tape on and then only I would listen to it (in hindsight, very selfish) when I was an emotional early teen. Guinnevere still blows my mind and Suite: Judy Blue eyes still makes me euphoric!!
3. Björk – Vespertine
god I love this album. probably first heard it in 2010, maybe? before I lived in Toronto but I was visiting a lot. I used to listen to Unison on repeat when I was really stoned, haha. I just love everything about it, the production, her drum programming, it all feels so expansive to me. the wordless melody in Aurora makes me cry a bit. actually this is totally a desert island record for me. I’m gonna go listen to it now!!
I’m going to say Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood. actually I’m due for a re-read. I love her writing very much and in this one, I dunno, she marries the historical fiction with this like will-she-won’t-she vibe of supernaturalism, like you can’t really tell if shit’s fucked up but also it is?? and the subject material is appropriately morbid for me. no spoilers but like, read it.
hmmmmm let’s say Black Christmas! it was basically the advent of slasher films, one of the really early ones, shot in Toronto. Margot Kidder is so great and crass in it! I loved her presence and dialogue and all the sorority scenes are great. I love old horror movies and this one is so much less stilted when it comes to dialogue and acting than some of them are. also if you ever really want a good horror movie pal, I’m your girl, because I WILL scream.
1 song that’s important:
Sufjan Stevens – Holland
man, this song has gotten me through some shit. I used to listen to it on repeat while I slept. in my teens it was my go-to song for when I was so sad I didn’t know which way was up, when I was so happy I didn’t know which was was up, and when I just had no fucking clue what was going on at all. it still really calms me down – I can put it on repeat for an hour and it becomes a room to live in. I have definitely listened to it hundreds and hundreds of times. makes sense that Sufjan was so incredibly important to me as a soft, sad, queer kid who is now a soft, sad, queer, pseudo-adult… also Michigan is the best album, fight me.
Purchase tickets for Merival’s Balloon Machine Presents show in Manchester at The Eagle Inn can be purchased here.