I’ve made no secret of my love of Portland’s Tender Loving Empire. I’m their friend on Facebook. That’s right, friend. I don’t “like” them. I’m friends with them. They’re the label behind my favorite discovery since starting this site, Typhoon, and their artist catalog is absolutely excellent. They’re one of few labels that I try to follow intently. So when I got an email representing a group on them a few weeks back, I was naturally interested. When the email said that it was the group of the man behind the operation of TLE I was even more intrigued.
Jared Mees is that man and his group, Jared Mees and the Grown Children, continues the streak of quality output for Tender Loving Empire. No surprise since this is the man who heads it all up (with his wife). Their new album, Only Good Thoughts Can Stay, sounds like you’d expect from its title: Lush, organic, upbeat pop with some great production. It drops May 5th, so be sure to check it out then. In a lot of ways, this band feels like Typhoon on a whole lot of anti-depressants.
“Limber Hearts” is my personal favorite from the album, so its a good thing NYLON premiered it a while back. (I’ll give you a stream, but you’ve gotta go there to download it.) The production shines here a lot, in particular the piano that starts every off and then continues to touch everything up throughout the song sounds absolutely perfect to me. Mees also has a great sense of melody on this one. The instrumental bridge is excellent as well, bringing in the full sounds of strings, horns and voices to a triumphant last call. After a few listens I can’t help but hum along to the first few lines in my head.
“The hearts, the hearts
The limber hears that bend but never break”
It’s a great uplifting song that’s not overbearing in its optimism. The truth exists, “the high life can’t last forever,” but everything will continue nonetheless. It’s a wonderful sentiment for its honesty.