Charlotte, NC born singer-songwriter MercuryCarter is a vocalist of boundless talents. His raw, powerful and operatically tinged voice allows him to pursue increasingly epic song structures, while his instrumental skills ensure an organic listening experience. Pursuing musical endeavors since 2015, Carter has already proven himself to be one of the greatest and most distinguishable voices of this generation. Utilizing both his knowledge and passion for the genres that inspire him; most notably the golden ages of jazz and soul; he has created a sound that will stand the test of time. With his exceptional pitch, 3.5 octave range, and unique phrasing, Carter provides sound and color that will infinitely satisfy all music lovers for generations to come.
MercuryCarter is no stranger to massive balladeering - but the ambition behind his offering "Mercury Sings…" is still impressive. Releasing a cover EP had the potential to be slightly risky, especially given the caliber of the artists whose work is brought to life here, but it presents Carter as a devotee of his craft. A lover of soul and blues who can seemingly transform any classic track into his own seductive, melancholy siren’s call. To compare the artist’s extraordinary vocal abilities to those that he pays homage to on "Sings…" would be highly reductive, but it’s safe to say that the quality of these iconic originals are well met on this 26 minute roller coaster ride through these musical arrangements presented.
The first of these, ‘Four Women’, is the most faithful to the source material - in that it recites the tales of racial suffering first told in Nina Simone’s work with the same tender, mournful tone. Carter’s voice here is husky, rasping most tangibly on the name reveals to emphasize the importance of the character quartet.
It was always the intention that each figure depicted in the song was a not so thinly-veiled metaphor for a unique brand of suffering, the singer’s hushed approach reflects the gravity of these decades-old yet still frighteningly relevant tales.
‘Four Women’ was never a piece to be sang with any dramatic flair, and it’s evident that Carter understands this as his performance is spattered with ghostly wails and stirring string segments that complement the dusky social landscape painted so expertly by this interpretation. When Carter does exercise the full spectrum of his vocal talent, it’s to launch the song into the same explosive piano finale that defined the original.
Of any of the songs molded by Carter’s gentle vocal caress, ‘Daydreamer’ was always going to be the biggest challenge. The most modern ballad of the five, the slower take on Adele’s acoustic guitar-led 19 opener is a true thrill for fans of either artist, with Carter’s soul sound fitting the starry-eyed third person narrative like a glove. Instrumentally, this song has a flamboyant emotive flair to it that makes it the most fleshed-out on the EP. Like the project as a whole, the vocal expressions on this song are unlike those of any singer, let alone one that has been practicing their craft for such a short time.
When Carter tackles music outside of the traditional soul spectrum, such as Queen's massive arena ballad ‘Who Wants to Live Forever’, his voice retains the tenderness found in much of his discography, but the angelic extremities reached on this song are unlike anything he has offered prior. The singer’s flawless high notes rank him in the echelon of vocalists that receive international praise, it only takes one listen to his live version of ‘With Every Breath I Take’ to discover that he is as natural a talent as they come. Although all songs on the EP were all one takes in a "live performance" fashion - this track, which closes out the EP in a soft, morose fashion, is arguably the best fit for Carter’s sound. His low notes are exceptional, and the aforementioned track was the perfect opportunity to display them. The adaptation of a bold yet vulnerable musical number into something even more sensual and human is impressive, and something only someone as masterful and well-practiced as Carter could execute with justice to the original work.