Houston-based musician Tony Barilla and Netherlands-based artist Merel Van Dijk met a few years ago when Barilla was working overseas with a Dutch theater group. Friendship ensued, and the two began making music together. An actual band formed when Van Dijk visited Houston for a spell, and the duo enlisted married couple Cathy Power and Chris Bakos (on percussion and bass, respectively), as well as guitarist Joe Wozny, and the group started writing and recording songs as Merel & Tony, releasing several EPs of original music in the indie-alternative vein.
For the song “The Shame,” off the band’s upcoming EP, Merel and Tony with the Woe Woe Woes (release date 4/1/2017), the group enlisted director Jeromy Barber of creative production company Dinolion and the assets of Houston alternative theater group BooTown to produce an atmospheric and evocative video that incorporates Bootown’s unique approach to shadow puppetry, while also highlighting Van Dijk’s passionate vocal performance.
Merel & Tony were one of the first bands featured on Houston Public Media’s web series Skyline Sessions. Below, watch the band perform the original song “Some Planes,” recorded in the fall of 2014.
Merel & Tony will perform a free concert on Saturday, April 1 at 1 p.m., at Cactus Music.