“Mercy Down” is the first single and music video off Shayfer James upcoming EP, Hope And A Hand Grenade, which is set for release on February 1st (pre-orders can be found on Bandcamp here). Today, a moderate two weeks before the album drops, we’re stoked to offer the video’s exclusive premiere!

About the song, James said, “‘Mercy Down’ is my commentary on empire and monarchy in modern America. The current state of affairs is quite disturbing, but I believe that we humans are good at heart and that this era is a kind of death throe before a new more positive age begins. Words are far more powerful than guns or bombs, they just take a hell of a lot more time to accumulate and make impact. Words. Love. Resistance. Those are the weapons I’m referring to in the song.”

Beginning his recording career in 2008, James has evolved into a well-established rock noir singer-songwriter, composer and multi-instrumentalist. His talent for dark and fascinating musical storytelling reaches back to his early childhood when he nearly lost two fingers while reaching into the engine compartment of his father’s tractor. After serious emergency surgery and skin grafting, James’ mother helped him exercise his fingers by playing piano each day for months. As a result, James became extremely talented as a piano player which he turned into an innate and physical extension of his songwriting. It became a way for him to create and communicate who he is as a person.

In the last decade, he has released two full-lengths, three EPs and many singles. On top of this, James is also writing two musicals with collaborator Kate Douglas (Sleep No More, NYC) which have developed in residence at Goodspeed Musicals, The O’Neill, and Rhinebeck Writers.


Born in 2003, V13 was a socio-political website that, in 2005, morphed into PureGrainAudio and spent 15 years developing into one of Canada's (and the world’s) leading music sites. On the eve of the site’s 15th anniversary, a full re-launch and rebrand takes us back to our roots and opens the door to a full suite of Music, Film, TV, and Cultural content.