"My aim is to release records that will sound good today, tomorrow and 50 years from now," says Joe Medina, the singer, songwriter, composer & guitarist behind MERCH. His latest LP, Amour Bohemian, is an immense project featuring contributions from 65 different artists, including the 30-piece Prague FILMharmonic, who have collaborated with everyone from Werner Herzog & Quentin Tarantino to the Arcade Fire, Joanna Newsom and Adele. Members of The Growlers & The Blank Tapes are also featured on the album, which Oh Sees' John Dwyer is already calling "a masterpiece."
A densely layered, wildly ambitious record rooted in Medina's love of vintage film soundtracks, Scott Walker & Lee Hazlewood, Amour Bohemian's cinematic sound is a brilliant fusion of classic pop, psych & garage that's peppered with reverent nods to the old-school crooners, Mexican ranchero, French chanson and '30s big-band jazz. Medina shrieks and howls like a descendant of The Mothers of Invention and croons like Leonard Cohen, evoking a serendipitous combination of love and estrangement.
The album's frenetic opening track, "Don't Wait Too Long"—with its dramatic orchestral flourishes, massive dynamic shifts and shamanistic urgency—finds Medina celebrating the bohemian single life and lamenting a troubled, baggage-laden past while frantically crying out in pursuit of a rare and genuine love. The wonderfully campy accompanying visuals, filmed in Anza-Borrego Desert during the Superbloom, capture Medina in the midst of what appears to be a manic peyote-inspired neo-noir desert freak-out. The delirious, hazy images channel P.T. Anderson's Inherent Vice with its dream-sequence vibe, sprawling neon colors and dark silhouettes.
Don't miss out on Medina’s Amour Bohemian, in its entire splendor, out November 3rd.