Much like Schrödinger’s Cat, singer-songwriter Susie Merry kept her music hidden away, unknown to the world where no positive or negative judgment could be placed. It was safe. Tucked away.
It sometimes takes an external pressure to overcome fear and insecurity. For Merry, it was an endometriosis diagnosis that compelled her to quit her job and follow her dream. She released her four-track debut EP, Body In Time, because as she explains: “You might not be able to control everything that happens to you, or your body, or your relationships – the list is endless. But you can embrace being patient, and you can be graceful in the face of adversity to come out the other side a wiser version of yourself.
“That’s why the EP is named as such – this is my body, and this is what is happening at this time, it is what it is.”
Beats Per Minute caught up with Merry to discuss her EP, track-by-track. We are fortunate to have her share these little beauties.
“Weatherman” is about one day just being smacked in the face with the realisation that you have ended up somewhere completely different from where you intended (and not in a fun, interesting way). That we can do the same thing over and over, and be so habitual without being intentional, that we don’t really feel recognisable to ourselves anymore. What happens when a person or duty is removed, no matter how insignificant it might feel – do people realise the value in the small things they provided? And why do we feel so duty-bound to things that might actually be harmful to us in the long run? Can we break free of that expectation to be dutiful in order to be happy? People make a lot of prescribed choices – and I don’t think that’s always a bad thing – but it doesn’t work for everyone all of the time. That was what I was trying to explore.
When I wrote this track I didn’t intend for the cello to be on it, but I think it completely changed the song – there’s a yearning that’s unmatched (in my opinion) by other instruments and Georgina Lloyd-Owen really nailed it on the spot. Sam Weston provided the backbone masterfully on the double bass, and my good friend Harvey Fenny came in on electric guitar.
“Revisions” is taking a good long look at our assumptions of what love looks like versus what we think it should look like. It can come into our lives so imperfectly, timing-wise, and not in the way we pictured – the song is about resisting the impulse to be critical and to first take a look at your own hot mess of a reflection before making a judgement of the other person. It’s a joint-softening into where the fruits of a relationship lie, and where you find the acceptance you need.”
As well as Georgina Lloyd-Owen (Poppy Ajudha, Ella Clayton) on cello, Marika Tyler-Clark (Clara Mann) is on violin for this one too.
“The Well” was the first song I wrote, all in one go in a very quiet and private moment after the endometriosis diagnosis. I had a lot of anger towards my body, but also a lot of softness and compassion for myself. It’s a very simple song in structure, because I think I needed to make way for clarity. I was suddenly thinking about things I had never seriously given thought to, and grieving something I wasn’t even sure what capacity I wanted.
Despite the news, it gave me an opportunity I usually avoided to ponder about the future – but perhaps most importantly it helped me let go of the idea that life needs to follow certain milestones to be fulfilling. I’m not sure if I would have pursued music had I not had the diagnosis, and for that I have to be grateful for the direction it spurred me in. It gave me a renewed and nuanced perspective on being a woman, and what I need for a good life.
I put this song at the end of the EP, because to me it feels like a wall coming down. These stressful things have happened, and I’ve been on the defensive, but I’d quite like to put them in the past and relax into a four-part string section (and get on with other things).