EP Review: “Lovers” by Merival

Merival is the musical moniker of Toronto, Ontario songstress, Anna Horvath. Referring to herself as a “musical dirtbag”, Anna found herself in Toronto in 2012 and since then has worked with the likes of Ryan Hemsworth (Secret Songs), Torquil Campbell (Stars), Darren Seltmann (The Avalanches) and Swim Good (Bedroomer). In addition, she fronted a previous project called First Rate People. Her latest EP, Lovers, was released earlier this year. The EP is a collection of five songs about previous loves of her life. All of these songs were written before Anna was 20 years old and on this EP, she brushed off the dust and reinvented each one in hopes of giving a part of herself to her listeners. And, that is exactly what she does.

The voice behind Merival is unwavering, controlled and undeniably beautiful. The instrumentals are the bare minimum necessary to give the songs memorable melodies but not distract from the lyrical content and true meaning behind them. Her music is visceral in a way that is coming directly from Anna’s young and broken heart, straight to your heart, whatever condition it may be in.

The EP opens with “A Better Deal”, a delicate gem with gentle acoustic guitar and lovely lyricism. The fact that Anna wrote these poetic pieces before the age of 20 speaks volumes of her natural ability to create something beautiful, cohesive, honest and creative.

The track, “Kicking You Out”, was written when Anna was 17, about a lover she had been in love with for two years. Though they never lived together and she could never physically kick him out, she was, and still is, kicking him out of her mind. She describes everything around her being “dirty” with the thought of him, impossible to scrub these things free of his presence and her memory of him:

Well the carpet is dirty and so is the bed

And my lips, cheeks and eyelids are pained with lead. 

A stunning and deeply reflective EP, Lovers is an honest gift from Merival to her listeners. The EP is available on her Bandcamp page and on iTunes now.


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