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Jared Mees - Real Connection

Jared Mees - Real Connection


  • 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)

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Jared Mees & the Grown Children

Track Listing

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

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Constant lineup changes and infrequent rehearsals would cause many bands to suffer, but they’ve become the lifeblood of Jared Mees & The Grown Children, giving the group’s live shows a devil-may-care energy and keeping the songs honest and raw. The band’s first incarnation was born on a Panamanian Island, where Mees, his wife Brianne—the co-founders of Tender Loving Empire—and two friends wrote the bulk of the songs that would eventually become If You Wanna Swim With The Sharks. After recording Sharks in L.A. with Brianne’s father, Bill Forbes, the couple moved to Portland, Oregon, and launched the fledgling Tender Loving Empire empire. Many more Grown Children incarnations would follow, each contributing to the full of the sprawling epic soundscapes and lucid lyrical imagery that Jared Mees & The Grown Children have come to be known for.

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