Whether it’s dancing along gently plucking acoustic guitar strings or crooning the path for backing piano keys, Adam Melchor’s calming vocal explores success and struggle, budding romance and heartbreak — sprinkling in a few sports metaphors along the way — in his new EP, Summer Camp, premiering today exclusively on Billboard and out Feb. 28.
The six-track EP came together over the course of three days with the help of Ethan Gruska (Phoebe Bridgers), Andrew Sarlo (Bon Iver) and John DeBold (Vampire Weekend), though it’s easily digestible production throughout would indicate otherwise.
Outside of a brief vocal distortion during the first few seconds of project opener “JEWEL,” the project is extremely steady, allowing the New Jersey native’s unwavering charm to shine and soothe through lo-fi melodies. Such success can be attributed to the upbeat attitude during the recording process, says Melchor.
“The environment was extremely welcoming — the positive mindset was the best thing,” he tells Billboard. “Our headspaces were that of four 12-year-old kids spending three days at a lake with a rope swing. It felt like they went by in an hour and my face hurt from smiling so much.”
Melchor also notes that the EP’s title draws from the ebullient, inquisitive mentality that accompanies summer camp. And similar to the set-up during those long, hot days of summer, the singer-songwriter and his collaborators had clearly defined plans for how they wanted to attack each day in the studio.
“Andrew sent Ethan, John and me an email detailing what the session would be [each day],” Melchor says. “I’m most proud of how we were able to do exactly what we wanted. The goal was to have the best time and we did — just know I felt the same things you will feel when you listen.”
Melchor will be the opening act for Bruno Major on a nationwide tour, which includes a few dates in Canada, beginning March 19 at Concord Music Hall in Chicago. He’ll also play a sold out release show tomorrow night at West Hollywood’s Troubadour.
Summer Camp comes out Feb. 28, but you can listen one day early below.