Merlin Hydes – In Plain Sight

Merlin Hydes - In Plain Sight



4.3/5 Pros

  • Very straight and personal songs
  • Nice "street-style" blues-folk music

I always enjoy sharing some new German artists with you. This time, I listened to a debut album by the blues musician Merlin Hydes, which I received from a promotion agency. Here is my review of In Plain Sight, which has been released on 16th February 2024.


Merlin Hydes – About The Artist

Merlin Hydes is a German musician from Hamburg. He started his musical career as a street musician, as which he ran into his future producer. So ar, he has released two singles, which are both part of his debut album.


Merlin Hydes – In Plain Sight – Track by Track

The twelve song album lasts 38 minutes.

1. Dark Riders

The promo package to the album calls the style of Merlin Hydes typical street music. I would call it blues with a down to Earth touch. The street style, however, is that the song does not have more elements than the acoustic guitar and the vocals of the German artist. If you do it well, you don’t need more than that. I enjoy this first musical trip with Merlin to the Dark Riders.

2. The River Song

The River Song is one of the feature singles of this debut album. The song is more playful than the opener, but still has that catching groove of it. For that song, there is also a female backing vocalist, which is definitely adding a lovely flavor to the second track.

3. I Got The T

The third song is just 52 seconds long. An interlude track? Not at all, the energetic I Got The T feels like a full song. The message is just simply condensed. The nice theme would have deserved some longer presence.

4. Mary

Catch it, Mary! The fourth track is slowing down In Plain Sight a bit. However, the song is not (yet) a ballad. Again, the direct, personal way of recording and producing the song is cool. This song has a message – and the artist just needs his instrument and himself to share it with us. Glad that they did not add any unnecessary stuff to it.

5. Maggies Farm

One good thing about the rather limited arrangement is that you get into the song rather quickly. Already after a few seconds, you catch the main theme and vibes of Maggies Farm and then have sufficient time to focus on the lyrics. A rather rousing and quicker song which easily caught me.

6. Drip Of Luck

Songs like Drip of Luck make me remind of Josephine Alexandra’s (here is an interview with her) performance at the Nacht der Gitarren last year in Germany. Merlin Hydes is doing a main melodic line, some groovy vibes and even some rhythm in parallel with the guitar. I likely would also enjoy the instrumental part of this song. But it would be a shame if you would not be able to listen to the story of this one as well.

7. Bucket Of Gold

Bucket of Gold works with a darker, groovy sound of the guitar again. The slightly “dirty” sound of the instrument gives a very characteristic listen. I really like the leverage of the of the vocals and the instrumental sound in this song as well.

8. Dream Stepper

With 4:15 minutes, the Dream Stepper is one of the longest songs of the album. This song definitely reflects to the street music style. You would just have to stop by in a pedestrian zone when Merlin Hydes is performing it. With the short breaks here and there, the song also has a really nice dramatic plot. Step into my dream like it was.

9. Coin Rattle

The Coin Rattle is a rather uptempo song, which comes with a blues-alike structure and repetition frequency. A song about having financial and running, running, running all the time due that hassle. I will not pay with credit card and I will not pay with cheque. Therefor, there are rattling coin in his pocket. Lovely storytelling.

10. Bucket of Gold

And a bucket full of gold is what I found… The song is not that much about financial, as Hydes later states Keep it for someone else. The tenth song is overall a bit more brave and not as energetic and strong in its message than many of its predecessors.

11. The Quiver

With The Quiver, Merlin Hydes adds a touch of folk vibes to his debut album. The statement Lord, I am going mad is beautifully underlined with melodic elements, which leads to a nice catch.

12. On The Loose

The last three minutes of In Plain Sight belong to On The Loose. The song is a slow farewell track, which creates a lot of intimate and personal touch again. Nice.


Merlin Hydes – In Plain Sight – Spotify

Here is In Plain Sight on Spotify:


Merlin Hydes – In Plain Sight – My View

In Plain Sight feels like a very personal album. Merlin Hydes is showing us a wonderful insight into his musical life. Call it blues, call it folk or call it street music – if you like singer-songwriter songs with a good message, you should dare a listen. I more and more appreciate the album.

Favorite Song: Coin Rattle


Hamburg debut EP / Album Reviews

Here are my Media Reviews of debut releases related to Hamburg in Germany:


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Here are all my Pictured Stories I released in 2023:


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