Tan Vampires’ lead singer/songwriter Jake Mehrmann has admitted to having a “perfectionist streak” when it comes to songwriting. The band’s precision shines through in the introspective, often dark, lyrics and in the airtight musicianship. Poignant horns and accordion are slipped in amongst dynamic drums and Merhmann’s golden-hued vocals. Tan Vampires has honed a unique sound and in the process earned comparisons to the likes of Radiohead, Wilco, Jim James, Modest Mouse, Bon Iver, and Fleet Foxes.
Mehrmann started as a solo project but quickly established a full-bodied sound with a talented line-up of musicians from the Seacoast Region of New Hampshire. Their debut album, For Physical Fitness, garnered attention from NPR’s All Songs Considered and Brooklyn blog titan, Big Ugly Yellow Couch. Their success earned them opening slots for well-known artists Yo La Tengo and Okkervil River and two official CMJ showcases in New York City. Following up on their success, the band released Ephemera in August of 2013, an EP well-received by taste maker blogs such as The Wild Honey Pie and The Deli. The band has since been touring in support.
This band from New Hampshire has stuck with me since the first time I dug its debut album, For Physical Fitness, out of NPR Music's massive pile of incoming mail. It's an album crammed with well-crafted songs that soar, twist and never blend into one another. Some are head-bobbing rockers that push relentlessly forward with chugging electric guitar. Others are softer, more melancholy ballads with throbbing bass and subtle whooshing electronic noises. Nearly every track is a standout, and that's remarkable from a band most people have never heard. --Clare Flynn (NPR)