Artist: Conrad Merced
About the Episode:
Conrad Merced is a singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer based out of Chicago, IL. Being raised in a musical family, he started playing in music groups at the age of 13. He was the former front man for the indie rock band The Red Jacket, and the shoegaze, electronic duo Shoplifter. His music has been featured in films, podcasts and in various music compilations. At the age of 25, Conrad abruptly stopped writing and playing music.
Following the unexpected death of his mother, Conrad picked up his guitar after a ten year hiatus and began writing songs for the album "Tender Beats." This lush collection of songs feature catchy finger-style acoustic guitar backed behind atmospheric, digital textures and drum machines to create a unique blend of ambient electronic-folk.
Conrad teamed up with engineer Rick Riggs at Handwritten Recording Studio to help shape and bring to life his wall of sound. The album could have easily stood alone as a folk album but with the composition of orchestral instruments, vintage synthesizers and electronic drum machines, the album bends genres without compromising its melody and thoughtful lyrics. Conrad’s songs have been described as “Nick Drake meets Roxy Music” and “Elliott Smith meets Radiohead.”
The themes of the album touch on dealing with the loss and death of a loved one, reflections on aging, overcoming writer’s block, breaking up, falling in love, and a nostalgia piece about growing up in the 90’s to immigrant parents.