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Greg Mendez, 'Goodbye / Trouble'

On Greg Mendez's eponymous new album, the Philadelphia singer-songwriter paints reflections on sobriety, heartbreak and necessary growth in a honey-tinted sonic glow. "There were a couple of years there where I was really unable to hold a job. There were long periods of couch surfing," he told Bandcamp Daily in a recent interview, looking back on the period of houselessness and addiction that shaped this batch of songs.

"Goodbye / Trouble" is the liveliest track on the album. An uptempo drum beat, major-key electric piano motif and fluctuating vocal melody contrast raw subject matter. It finds Mendez recounting seedy tales, compassionately writing off an old partner in crime in the process. "I sold some s*** to some shady bros / You took the money but you left me their clothes and / Your pain and trouble / Stayed in trouble," he sings in the final verse, somehow sounding matter-of-fact and on the verge of tears all at once. In Mendez's hands, coming to terms with the worst of times has led to music so grippingly human, you'll want to hear him grapple with his demons on an endless loop.

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Ted Davis