This Sunday (2/28) marks the 1-year anniversary of Philly indie-folk singer/songwriter Greg Mendez's album Cherry Hell, and to celebrate the anniversary, Greg reflected on the album and filmed a live session for three of its songs. Greg says:

This album was really huge for me because it was the first one where I was at a point in my life where I could actually take my time working on the songs. I used to write and record so frantically, everything around me was so unstable and some part of me always believed each song was going to be the last I wrote, so I was constantly rushing to get everything done as fast as possible.

“Cherry Hell” found me in a place where I could really breathe and figure out how to do what I wanted to do, musically and lyrically. I spent a year and a half recording the album at home, in between three part-time jobs, and I can hear myself learning and growing within the songs. It feels corny to say, but I really was a different person when I finished the record than I was when I started it. It’s honestly the first thing I’ve made that I’m not embarrassed of a year later. The way I feel about the songs is different now but they still ring true.

I met Connor of Cemetery Tapes early last year when he came and filmed the “Cherry Hell” record release show at Couchtown in West Philly, one of the last shows we got to play. Turns out he had been friends with my cousin growing up. Connor has a knack for honestly capturing a performance and I was able to just play the songs and not be too stressed out by the camera. It felt really special to record these live sessions, we actually filmed them in the backyard of the South Philly house where I started tracking “Cherry Hell” so it was a nice full circle. We had a lot planned for 2020 that didn’t get to happen, but I’m still proud of this record and ready to take it back on the road as soon as it’s safe to do so.

The songs are just as gripping in the stripped-down solo acoustic setting of the live session as they are on the record, as you can see/hear for yourself below. If you're unfamiliar with Greg's music, fans of Bright Eyes, Kevin Devine, etc, take note.