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Real Connection

Jared Mees

Music Format
  • Real Connection by Jared Mees & The Grown Children is the 5th album from the Tender Loving Empire co-founder Jared Mees. Real Connection chronicles Mees’ 2018 nervous breakdown, the depression and disconnection that brought him to the edge of sanity, and the breakthroughs that can eventually come through breakdowns. Over the record’s 10 songs, Mees opens his brain and soul up, exploring thorny subjects like the disconnection of a hyper-connected life, the vacuous-ness of social media artifice, the re-establishment of confidence following a crisis and ultimately the redemption and search for a higher power in a post-God belief system. These difficult subjects are juxtaposed by a light hearted, poppy production from Paul Laxer (Typhoon) and the instrumental prowess of Jesse Bettis, Jake Hershman, Becca Shultz, Kyle Moore, Brian Park, Ben “Snax” Turner and Alex Fitch. Oscillating effortlessly from 80’s pop to dark indie synth rock to 90’s fuzz and back to 80’s pop, Real Connection’s exploration of disparate yet unified sonic landscapes match the lyrical exploration of connection, redemption and hope in the midst of depression and sorrow. Recorded in 2019 in multiple studios and a cabin on the Santiam river, Real Connection is in many ways a sonic departure from the indie-folk romps of Mees’ past work, yet Laxer’s production along with Cam Spies’ (Radiation City) smooth but dynamic mixes gives the heavy subject matter a buoyancy that is true to Mees roots - soulful songs with heartfelt lyrics and catchy hooks that stand in the gap between darkness and hope.

    TLE-094 (2021)

  • 1. You Used to Know Me
    2. I Can’t Do This Alone
    3. Real Connection
    4. Red Blood
    5. Save Me From the Fire
    6. Deeply
    7. Bigger Than Me
    8. Quiet Desperation
    9. Daylight
    10. Pipes
  • Jared MeesJared Mees has been making and recording music with various groups of friends and vagrants for over 10 years. His early association with kindred spirits Finn Riggins lead to a lifelong relationship, inspiring each to form the hubs of their own cultural empires: Finn Riggins in Boise, ID, and Jared and his wife Brianne co-founding Tender Loving Empire in Portland, OR.
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