Album Premiere: Greg Mendez — ‘Cherry Hell’

Posted: by The Editor

Photo by Veronica Isley

Philadelphia songwriter Greg Mendez has been a fixture of the DIY scene for the better part of the past two decades, creating a universe of warbled, hissy lo-fi bedroom pop in the vein of Elliot Smith and (Sandy) Alex G. In his music he often details the harsh realities of life, writing intimately about addiction, heartbreak, abuse, and everything in between. On Cherry Hell, which we’re premiering today ahead of its release this Friday, Mendez returns with a short but memorable collection of gloomy songs, each one brimming with an underlying sense of purpose and urgency.

Favoring a quiet kind of calamity, Cherry Hell is filled with hazy, subdued arrangements where wobbly acoustic guitars spill into frayed noise atop delicate vocals, which rarely rise above a murmur. The entirety of the album was recorded on a borrowed 8-track tape machine, giving everything a homespun quality—songs like “Bike” and “Sweet 16” are immersive and disorienting, but in the gentlest way imaginable. Look no further than “I Don’t Wanna Stay Here / Motel Song,” the album’s shuffling centerpiece, for how Mendez uses restraint and minimalism to evoke regret and melancholia, making it all sound so effortless.

Stream it below:

Pre-order Cherry Hell on cassette via Forged Artifacts (US) and Devil Town Tapes (UK)


Michael Brooks // @nomichaelbrooks 

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