Jeff Merchant is a purveyor of slickly arranged orchestral indie-pop with jazz and folk undertones. Merchant's "window rolled down" CD is one remarkably smooth listen, carrying the listener effortlessly along from auspicious start to fine finish. RIYD: Donovan, The Field Mice, Nick Drake, Belle and Sebastian.
This Los Angeles-based songwriter is best known as a member of the cult fave psycho-eclectic group, the Lullabies (which also features the notable and nationally renowned Stew, Heidi Rodewald and Michael Whitmore). Their debut CD, "Lullabies' Lullaby", released in 2004, received national radio airplay, made a few top-10 lists and has even been heard in some European cafes.
Merchant was also front man for the quirky alt-pop L.A. band, PG-13, known for its inspired and clever interpretation of Willy Wonka's "Pure Imagination" and for inventive songs about 99 cent stores and other urban realities. He also co-fronted the moody, orchestral pop sensibilities of a band called MetaTonic which utilized flute, violin and step bells as part of its sound. And he created the legendary alternative songwriter showcase known as, "Broken Mic", which held a regular residency at the world famous nightclub, Spaceland in Silverlake.
Not only does Merchant's new CD have fellow Lullabies members playing on some of the tracks, it also features members of Brian Wilson's band and Stew's band, as well as Listing Ship and other distinguished Silverlake/Los Angeles musicians. And Stew produced two of the tracks on this CD.
Multi-influenced, not trying to sound like anyone else, Jeff Merchant doesn't identify with any particular musical style or genre. He's more interested in well-written, compelling songs that have both a strong melody and a message.
Smother Magazine review (Editor's Pick): Those who are tired of waiting for something to released from the Donovan camp can rest easy. Jeff Merchant's “Window Rolled Down” will satisfy those cravings nicely. His songs are amazingly complex with intrinsic orchestrations and beautiful vocal arrangements. The harmonies are catchy as are the song structures, each of which is as unique as the last. This is multi-instrumental indie-pop that would fit Brian Wilson. Excellent eclectic folk pop.