Melbourne indie rockers Oh Mercy are gearing up to release their brand new album, When We Talk About Love.

The forthcoming record is frontman Alex Gow‘s most personal to date, and explores various states of love with distinctive rock n’ roll romance and nostalgia. Traversing influences as varied as Burt Bacharach, Leonard Cohen and The Triffids, he spent time writing the album in Portland, Nashville and New York.

Gow is one of Australia’s most acclaimed singer/songwriters. Releasing three albums by the time he was 25, he won the ‘Outstanding Potential Award’ at the AMP’s in 2009 and was awarded the EG Music ‘Outstanding Achivement’ Award in 2012. He also has a string of ARIA nominations under his belt for the albums Privileged Woes, Great Barrier Grief and most recent, Deep Heat.

I caught up with Alex Gow to talk about American literary and musical influences, performing and, of course, the new album When We Talk About Love

Hi Alex. I caught your set at Record Paradise, Brunswick on Record Store Day last month. Did you make any cool purchases that day?

I believe I did. Nick Drake’s ‘Nick Drake’. He was good, real good.

Speaking of records, your fourth album When We Talk About Love is about to drop. Congratulations. Am I right in thinking that the title is a nod to the Raymond Carver play?

It’s a nod to the title of one of his short stories. What We Talk About When We Talk About Love. It also happens to be the title of a book containing a collection of his shorts stories. His writing meant a great deal to me while I was writing the album. I find his short stories very moving.

It was predominately written across 3 American cities – Nashville, Portland & L.A. Why do you think inspiration struck abroad?

I don’t believe it did. Real life struck abroad. And all I could do was to write about my experience. It was just another 12+ months of my life, just elsewhere.

You’ve listed Bacharach, Cohen and The Triffids amongst your influences. They are quite varied, what drew you to those artists in particular?

The beauty and integrity of their songs. They really went for it. They reached for the decades. I find that to be very inspiring.

You played launch shows for the 7” single ‘Sandy’ earlier in the year. Have you been pleased with the reception so far?

Yep, people seem to like it. I guess. I’m really looking forward to having the album out. It works well as a body of work. I’m excited to people to experience it in that way.

You just released your new music clip for ‘If You Come Around Tonight’. Tell us about the concept for the video?

It’s voyeuristic. I guess I’m a voyeur. I’m interested in people.

I see you’re doing a secret solo set at Parlour gigs soon too. Explain a ‘Parlour gig’ and why you wanted to do one?

I guess it’s not so secret after all. I enjoy playing solo. Or in this case as a duo. It’s a great opportunity to deliver my songs in a very simple and effective way. Basically just as I wrote them. All the words can be heard. I can slow down and speed up as I like, It’s much more dynamic.

You’ll being touring as the full band – a four-piece. Who is in the band with you and who will be joining you on the road?

I’m playing as a five piece now. Viola, keys, bass, drums and me on the guitar. It’s great having Ceci cover the string parts on the viola. It’s a prominent and important part of the album, I’m glad to have it represented in the live show.

What are you most looking forward to on your national tour?

Heading to Darwin. I’ve been once before. It’s a strange and beautiful part of the country.

Your hometown is Melbourne. When and where can we see you?

Drinking nescafe in my shower. (And also at Howler on Saturday 22nd August).

‘WHEN WE TALK ABOUT LOVE’ TOUR:

SAT 22 AUGUST
Howler, Melbourne

FRI 28 AUGUST
Oxford Art Factory, Sydney

SAT 29 AUGUST
Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle

FRI 04 SEPTEMBER
Woolly Mammoth, Brisbane

SAT 05 SEPTEMBER
Darwin Railway, Darwin

FRI 18 SEPTEMBER
Mojos, Fremantle

SAT 19 SEPTEMBER
Rosemount, Perth

For more details and tickets, head to http://www.ohmercy.com.au/tours/

When We Talk About Love will be out this Friday June 19, but you can pre-order the album here.