Jared Mees & The Grown Children: Limber Hearts
Despite its title, Only Good Thoughts Can Stay is not an anthem for blind faith in simple pleasures. Pairing sometimes dark lyrical matter with uptempo major-chord progressions, the newest album from Portland, Oregon’s Jared Mees and the Grown Children examines the give-and-take inherent in struggles for self-fulfillment while walking a tightrope between naive exuberance and cynical skepticism. This balancing act results in a sound that is joyful yet introspective; a rollicking Americana tale of modern life, be it hellish or heavenly.
Recorded at Portland’s Type Foundry Studios under the engineering and production hand of Adam Selzer (M. Ward, Laura Veirs), the album features cello, viola, trumpet, kettle drum, Hammond organ, and Nashville guitar in addition to the traditional guitar-bass-drums setup, as well as a bevy of organic elements. Syncopated group handclaps open “Limber Hearts;” a choir of hollering souls descends on “Graverobbers;” Selzer’s dog Stella even chips in to lead a chorus of howls on “Billy Bird.” In the recording process, the band set out to capture the facile energy and spontaneity of their interactive live sets—raucous affairs which have been known to end with Mees leading a final call- and-response from atop Bowden’s kick drum whilecrowd members rush the stage. [last.fm]