Listening to Nate Mercereau's music feels like staring down a kaleidoscope. The songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist surveys the fractured borders between sounds, celebrating the beautiful moments where they collide. And when he’s not making his own music, he’s looking at the world of pop through his prismatic perspective—he’s produced or played on records by Jay-Z, Shawn Mendes, Lizzo, and The Weeknd, just to name a few.
Moreover, Mercereau has learned that no matter what sounds he’s working with he needs to lean in close, to focus on the details. “When you keep zooming in on something, it keeps getting more detailed,” says the Los Angeles-based artist. “It's like there's worlds within that world.” His new album, SUNDAYS, embodies that as he dives headlong into a mystical, rich vein of sonic worlds, each song more intricate and intimate than the last.
SUNDAYS developed out of what Mercereau calls “spontaneous composition”—weekly delves into his psyche via live-streamed performance. The sets were built in fluid collaboration with a series of percussive improvisations dreamt up by Carlos Niño, a forward-thinking producer, instrumentalist, and staple of L.A.’s experimental scene. Due to its open beginnings, SUNDAYS is both free of form and packed with complexity —at any given moment it can feel airy, dusty, serene, or fiercely passionate. The ten tracks don’t seem like traditionally structured songs. They’re human, emotional, and alive. “Everything I’m doing is about getting breath out of my body,” Mercereau says. “It really feels elemental.”
SUNDAYS began less as an album and more as a space to process the world. Over the course of 2020, Mercereau began a weekly Sunday livestream series. “That day of the week is particularly charged for me for many reasons,” he says. “It's the end of a week, and the beginning of something else, and there's just always something that happens that day emotionally if I can tune into it.” Niño would send a long-form improvisation before the set, then Mercereau would play and create along with it in real-time, creating a palpable sense of live interaction. As Mercereau explains, “There were so many moments where it felt like borderline psychic communication happening between us, even though we made many of our parts at different times.” The weekly sessions lasted from April to December. By the end, Mercereau knew he had an album on his hands, and began whittling it into a cohesive shape.