Over the last few months, Auckland-based musician and producer Merk (Mark Perkins) has been starting to prick up ears with his singles 'I'm Easy', 'Manchuria' and 'No Better Reason'. A blend of jangly '90s college alt-rock, ascendant psychedelic rock and classic '60s pop he's described as intended to feel like "Pavement produced by George Martin," earlier in the year, Merk's sound, attitude and aesthetic captured the imagination of the storied Red Bull Music Academy.

This month, he's attending the first term of the 2016 edition of RBMA in Montreal. In celebration of this, he's recorded a couple of D.I.Y covers of songs by fellow New Zealand RBMA participants Fazerdaze and Lontalius. "In their own ways both Amelia (Fazerdaze) and Eddie (Lontalius) write very honest and genuine songs and that's what makes their music so special. This comes through not only in the lyrical content but also in the production," he says. “Both of the original tracks are arranged really beautifully and delicately so it was interesting to try take them somewhere they wouldn't go otherwise."

'Little Uneasy' (Fazerdaze cover):

'Light Shines Thru Dust' (Lontalius Cover):