Whether you know it or not, there's a strong chance you've heard LA-based multi-instrumentalist Nate Mercereau in some form or fashion. Maybe you've noticed his synth contributions on Jay-Z's “4:44"? Perhaps his guitar licks on Lizzo's "Cuz I Love You"? French Horn with Rhye? Glockenspiel for Leon Bridges? You name it; an undeniable quality of confidence and a pure enthusiasm seems to follow Mercerau wherever his chameleon-like musical expertise takes form. Both of these characteristics take center stage in his debut solo effort Joy Techniques and shine through in his latest single "The Trees Are Starting to Have Personality."
In its totality, Joy Techniques ebbs and flows, soaring between violent Jazz Fusion riffs, J-Dilla-esque beat driven meditations, and thick psychedelic guitar-laden soundscapes reminiscent of Hendrix. Needless to say, the entire record is a trip.
"The Trees Are Starting to Have Personality" marks a moment of contemplation in Mercereau's 9-track odyssey - a warm yellow caution signal calling toward the red light of his album's conclusion. Trading high-speed kinetic polyrhythms for a pace more reserved and stripped-down, the single finds kaleidoscopic kinship with that of Boards of Canada, Karriem Riggins, or Tangerine Dream. The track is colored by embracing chords and the through-line of hymning synths, visually captured by Mercerau in his self-shot music video. Conceptually, Mercereau finds solace in exploring his most introspective and intimate moments with his surroundings. In his words:
"The idea for the Trees Are Starting To Have Personality video was to make something that slowed me down a bit. I know I'm on some type of righteous path when I find myself able to notice and appreciate small moments and the details within them. When I find the time and attention to give to something I see everyday, I finally notice immense beauty. It makes life better to live in appreciation."
Check out "The Trees Are Starting to Have Personality" below.