Posted: December 2, 2017

Mercury and the Architects – concept album and puzzle website.

One of the best parts about my work is contributing to other people’s original music projects.  They run the stylistic gamut from rock & pop to Latin & jazz to Americana, Blues or roots and beyond, and I love following an artist and a song to try to help them fully realize their potential using my diverse palette of musical experience.  But, every now and then I get the chance to work with someone who’s vision is so different than mine, but is so strong and irrefutable: TJ Mercury is a young songwriter, singer, rapper, visual artist and conceptualist.

Producer (and Grammy-winning Mastering Engineer) Mark Christensen discovered TJ and invited me to work on the album, called “The Ghost that Haunts My Castle” from the ground level of pre-production.  We continued work on tracking the project at Engine Room Audio in NYC, and did extensive synth and string overdubs too.  The basic tracks feature legendary NYC session drummer Shawn Pelton (SNL), guitarist Ben Butler (George Michael), bassist Oscar Convers and TJ’s sister, singer and creative partner Chelsea Rae with additional contributions by his regular working band.  The result is a broad-based concept album about love, politics and the travels of the modern world that’s rooted in classic rock and modern rap with psychedelic, neoclassical and piano-rock and modern pop influences too.  TJ just kept wanting to add more and more layers to this recording, and somehow Mark Christensen and his mixing team (Greg Pizzulo and Darren Fewins) reconciled the layers into a deep, broad modern concept album.

TJ is a talented visual artist, too.  And, when I browsed over to his website, I discovered that it was rich with graphic imagery and, much to my surprise, a “maze” with ciphers and visual puzzles for visitors to enter and solve.  All things told, he’s a very creative young artist with the chutzpah to follow through on his vision.  Check out his site, his music (streaming on iTunes and Spotify and Soundcloud) and as TJ writes: “Crack the code. Take off your TV head. Become an Architect.”  Highly recommended!