In just a few years, Adam Melchor has gone from recording demos in the back of his car to bringing his folk-meets-bedroom-pop sound to venues all over the country. The New Jersey born singer-songwriter is no stranger to the intricacies of his art—he graduated with a degree in opera before pursuing his own music career. His first EP, 2017’s The Archer, is an acoustic-driven, confessional collection of tracks made for midnight listens and tugging at heartstrings.
Adam’s latest EP, Plan On You, is a showcase of the more low-fi side of his sound. Tracks like “Plan On You” and “Means to Amend” remain acoustic guitar and piano driven, but also deploy interesting distortions, muted synths, and vocal effects to create a dreamy, atmospheric mood. Between his technical skill and clear talent, Adam knows how to perfectly minimize sound in a way that’s still affecting and tonally magical.
We got the chance to chat with Adam about making his latest EP, his SXSW experience, and his dream tour mates. Check out the interview below, and be sure to track Adam on Bandsintown to see him when he comes to a city near you!
Your new EP Plan on You is lyrically captivating and shows your strength in vulnerable songwriting. How long did the recording process take?
First of all thank you so much!! The recording process of all the songs was fairly simple. Each song took a day to record. I think that has mostly to do with the people around me, Andrew Sarlo (who produced the first two songs) and Sean Tracy (who played guitar on “Plan On You”) both instilled such a positive vibe in the room and made the environment so easy to work in. I give them all the credit in the world. So when it came to recording the other two songs, I sort of used the same model on my own. I recorded “I Don’t Wanna See You Cryin’ Anymore” in one day in my room and the “Cryin’ Prelude” in another day in my room and by the end of each day I was happy with the moment captured. I like keeping things simple so as long as I could hear the words, I was pretty stoked.
Why was this album recorded to tape?
When I met Andrew he had a Tascam Cassette Recorder with him. He had just gotten it fixed if I remember correctly and wanted to use it, so we recorded on it. I’ve always been drawn to the timelessness of tape and I was happy to hear Andrew wanted to use it for my songs.
It’s probably like picking a favorite child, but what is your favorite song off of the new release?
I’m really in love with Means To A Mend because it’s been with me for a while. I’ve had so many versions of that song, and when I brought this one to Andrew, I knew he would be able to make the production of it endlessly cooler than my bedroom demo. It feels sort of like an experience versus a structured pop song, for me at least.
What was your songwriting process for this EP like?
Some songs came quicker than others. “I Don’t Wanna See You Cryin Anymore” I wrote in a day about a year ago, and then 7 or so months later I sat down with it and completely revamped the chorus. “Plan On You” started with a piano melody and I worked the lyrics every day for a month while I was living with my grandmother. At the end of the month I showed her the song and she said “finally”. I think letting songs live for a little bit lets them shine brighter. They get a bit of life experience as I do, and sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. In this case, hopefully it was for the better!!
Who or what are the main inspirations behind your folk-pop and lo-fi sounds?
My main influence will always be Jon Brion’s soundtrack for Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. My main comedic influence is also Jim Carrey but I’m still working on my comedy career.
What was your experience like performing at SXSW?
SXSW was truly incredible. The shows were amazing but being able to connect with artists I love and look up to was even better. It was almost like my playlists of music I love came to life. I love running around, and the spontaneity of trying to make a show at 9:30 and then another one at 10:15 a mile away. It’s just a great hub for everyone to meet and become pals.
Any upcoming tour stops you’re really looking forward to?
I’m so excited to go back to the east coast to play Baby’s All Right May 6th. I’ve never headlined in Brooklyn and that is by far my favorite venue in Brooklyn. I’ve seen so many people I look up to there, and I can’t wait to see my friends and family. I haven’t been back east this year so it’ll be great to see everyone.
As a musician, what is your preferred form of listening-––digital or physical copies? Or both?
I think both are great. Digital gives me access to listen anywhere. The romanticism of physical copies is also incredible. Being able to hold sound like that is very cool.
How has the music scene in your new home city, Los Angeles been treating you?
LA has been the best. There’s no place like it, and I’ve truly met the most amazing people here. No one is afraid of collaboration and I’ve been extremely lucky to get in rooms with people here that I never thought was possible beforehand.
Who are your dream artists to tour with?
I would love to tour with Gillian Welch just so she can give me all her songwriting secrets. She is a genius and such a kind soul.
What do you want to resonate with listeners most when they hear Plan on You?
I think I’d be happy if they resonated in any capacity. With the power of social media, I can’t begin to explain how grateful I am of people sending me messages and notes saying how much certain songs mean to them. It truly never gets old.
Upcoming Headlining Tour Dates:
MAY 6 - Brooklyn, NY @ Baby's All Right
MAY 9 - Chicago, IL @ The Hideout
MAY 21 - Los Angeles, CA @ Moroccan Lounge