Jared Mees & The Grown Children
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Jared Mees & The Grown Children

Portland, Oregon, United States | INDIE

Portland, Oregon, United States | INDIE
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This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Who the Hell do you think you are?"

Jared Mees, Reclinerland, Leigh Marble, Ross & the Hellpets
White Eagle | 836 N Russell St., 282-6810 [map]
[ACOUSTIC POP] Dear Jared Mees: Who the hell do you think you are? You come out of nowhere, hot-gluing lyrical turns of phrase together like Elvis Costello if he had grown up an American stoner, and now this! Your album, If You Wanna Swim With the Sharks..., is fucking fantastic. Okkervil River and Kind of Like Spitting come to mind, but Swim With the Sharks is a hell of a lot more fun, what with all its bouncy rhythm and doubled vocals, its quick quips and tender touches. You even threw in some country and surf-y tracks! Listen, Jared, I'm not mad at ya, it's just that if you keep recording music this good, I'll have to come see you at the Crystal Ballroom instead of the White Eagle. You don't want to do that to me, do you? Sincerely, CASEY JARMAN.- White Eagle. 9:30 pm. $6. 21+. - Willamette Week

"Portland Tribune Show Review"

Jared Mees
Portlander Jared Mees also co-founded Tender Loving Empire, a local collective that puts out limited-edition, handmade runs of a variety of art.

That sensibility – a distinctly Portland blend of lo-fi and high quality – pervades his new album, “If You Wanna Swim With the Sharks … ,” which is being released in hand-silkscreened packaging (with glow-in-the-dark ink) by Tender Loving Empire.

Mees’ songwriting is a combination of relatively simple pop melodies and insightful, detailed and deft turns of phrase. These are songs for the morning after and the night before – rambling, gambling songs written about slackers and screw-ups.

“Panama Anthem” is the perfect ode to slacker living, culminating with the phrase “Someday, someday … just not today.”

- Portland Tribune

"West Coast Performer Album Review"

If You Want to Swim with Sharks is Jared Mees’ thoughtful debut album on the label that he co-founded, Tender Loving Empire. Relating stories of mindless jobs, train-wreck love affairs, and the constant struggle to not give into pessimism, the Portland-based songwriter gives a very honest account of the middle-ground morass that only time seems to fix. Surely many twenty-somethings can relate.

With a voice similar to Stephen Malkmus’ lackadaisical lull, Mees brings the same wry wit and slacker folk charm to his songwriting. Throughout most of the album, the songs simply feature Mees and an acoustic guitar, with the occasional backing vocals of his wife, Brianne Mees. However, the lyrics and guitar melodies are enveloping and the album never feels lacking.

On the first song, “Suicide Squeeze,” Mees sings: “You’re in the suicide, suicide, suicide squeeze / You’re drunk and you’re speaking that drunk Christianese / You’re breaking down now with the greatest of ease / And you’re falling and licking your own bloody knees.” On “Working and Drinking,” Mees tells of only being capable of dreaming while asleep. His lyrics illustrate the mundane existence of ping-ponging between a boring job and the escape of drinking: “I’m the man of my dreams when I’m dreaming / At least that’s how it seems to be seeming / During those six short hours between working and drinking.”

If You Want to Swim with the Sharks is all about being stuck in the middle, being a minnow swimming with the sharks; but Mees’ first effort is anything but middle of the road. (Tender Loving Empire)


-Kristen Schaer

- West Coast Performer

"Irresistible Melodies"

"Packed full of irresistible melodies and clever turns of phrase…between the varied instrumentation and deliberate dashes of harmony Mees displays an impressive talent with composition and signs of greatness to come”

- HarmoniumMusic.com

"Wide Eyed Exuberance"

If You Wanna Swim With the Sharks... is full of songs mixing highly palatable pop-punk and sincere and rambling indie-folk, with a wide-eyed exuberance...

- Indiefolkforever.blogspot


2011 (May) Brand new album on Tender Loving Empire
2008-(September) "Caffeine, Alcohol, Sunshine, Money" (Tender Loving Empire
2008-(July) Split EP w/ Super XX Man of Remixes (Tender Loving Empire)
2008- Friends and Friends of Friends Comp (Tender Loving Empire)
2007- If You Wanna Swim with the Sharks..(Tender Loving Empire)
Pop Tomorrow Compilation(Tender Loving Empire) Failing Records Compilation #4(Failing Records) Mastan Music Hour Episode 28 (hosted by Jeremy Wilson of The Dharma Bums)



The brainchild of songwriter/composer/arranger/screenprinter Jared Mees, “The Grown Children” are the catchall name for the current amalgamation of players collaborating with Mees on recordings or on stage. Mees’ first solo effort “If You Wanna Swim w/ the Sharks” was named one of the best albums of 2007 by Willamette Week and called “fucking fantastic” by current Willamette Week Music Director Casey Jarman.

The first incarnation of the Grown Children was borne of a Panamanian Island, where Mees, his wife (and Tender Loving Empire co founder) Brianne and 2 friends wrote the bulk of the songs that would eventually become “Sharks...” After recording Sharks in L.A. and moving to Portland Mees embarked upon 2007’s ill fated and aptly named No A/C tour, with the members of Finn Riggins playing many of Mees’ songs.

Since then many friends have joined the Grown Children Family, and while the constant lineup changes and improvised, infrequent rehearsals would cause many bands to suffer, they have become the vitality of the Grown Children, giving live shows a devil-may-care energy and keeping the recordings on the new album Caffeine, Alcohol, Sunshine, Money dynamic, vibrant and honest.