Jared Mees & the Grown Children – Only Good Thoughts Can Stay

Jared Mees & the Grown Children – Only Good Thoughts Can Stay

So much of what music is about is the simple fact that one can testify their own trials and tribulations through the voice of their soaring music. As you hear Jared Mees & the Grown Children sing about how they wanna ‘shake shake shake all these blues away’ to the faint glimmer of tapping percussion and melting vocals in the background you can definitely understand how one would relish a life where personal meets work in the beautiful marriage of music. That song, openly-titled “Shake,” also happens to feature the album’s title, Only Good Thoughts Can Stay, fittingly buried in the lyrics as the band rocks and rolls to an everlasting joy of noise. In the end music is never about only allowing the good in but sharing in it all with fervent joy and Jared Mees & the Grown Children do just that on Only Good Thoughts Can Stay.

For Mees and his travelling band-mates, the journey to this new album started back in 2008 with an album then, Caffeine, Alcohol, Sunshine, Money, that personalized more of Mees’ singular stories and turned them into ventilated forays of solid music. The band sprinkles violins, cellos and other ‘homely’ touches throughout the album’s twelve songs that all beguile a fluid motion of folk tendencies. Sounding like something in between Okkervil River and Elvis Perkins, Jared Mees & the Grown Children definitely shine. On Good Thoughts Can Stay, Mees and his band meet at the middle for a solid amount of songwriting that encircles many of the battles the human spirit endures. The album opens with “Hungry Like a Tiger” that declares the band feeling lucky, provisioned and most importantly, left with a hunger that’s ready to conquer.

Through some of the diversity on the album is the band’s appropriate tendency to wanna rock out a little more than usual. Mees sometimes sounds like if he is channeling Stephen Malkmus with his croon and yet, the band is delivering sturdy major chords around him. But even when the songs shift into a solid groove like on “Billy Bird”s mesmerizing horn section or on “Juicy Fruit”’s menacing tour de force, the sudden shifts and turns work towards a diversified sound on Good Thoughts Can Stay. The songs shape themselves around the band’s fruitful blend of voices and as guitars, basses and drums join together, the swirl of the album is indebted to its good moods and good vibes. Mees knows miracles are still something that feels impossible but through a clear head of thinking, music is still able to win out in the end.

The band’s roots in Portland merely serve as a reminder of the Pacific Northwest’s surging music scene; it definitely doesn’t carry the entire reputation. Mees has been able to present solid songwriting with the pairing of a talented band to aid in the fusion of his Americana, folk-rock blends. Good Thoughts Can Stay is an indicative vision of what is capable when facing life through a realistic, calm lens and for Mees & the Grown Children, the view just gets clearer and clearer.

“Hungry Like a Tiger” by Jared Mees & the Grown Children

Tender Loving Empire