Immersive Atlanta interviews Shepherds singer/guitarist Jonathan Merenivitch on the band’s new album Exit Youth, which they’re calling “one of the best local records of the year”

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As a long-time fixture of the Atlanta music scene, Jonathan Merenivitch has played the part of the enigmatic frontman (in soul-punks Tendaberry), as well as lending instrumental support to the likes of avant pop act Del Venicci and future-pop giant-in-waiting Janelle Monáe. But of his many projects, Merenivitch seems to have reserved the most time and creative energy for Shepherds, his collaboration with bassist Peter Cauthorn (Mood Rings) and drummer Adrian Switon (Bataille). Although the trio have been offering up their twisted amalgam of post-punk and soul music since 2010, conceptually the band has remained, by and large, Merenivitch’s vision. And nowhere is this more evident and true than on the group’s latest LP, Exit Youth.

Written and recorded over the course of three years, the album traces a dark path, examining the inner turbulence of Merenivitch’s life during a period when he was questioning his decision to devote his life to art and music. Over the course of a dozen sprawling, wide-ranging songs, the band chronicles the small triumphs and bitter defeats, the crappy day jobs and fleeting moments of inspiration, that define the life of a young, aspiring artist.

As a working musician serving under the tutelage of the then blossoming Monáe, Merenivitch had managed to reach a career apex that most artists only dream of obtaining: opening for the legendary Prince at Madison Square Garden. But what should have been a day of triumph crashed to sobering reality when he learned that his car had been repossessed the same evening. Merenivitch calls it a revelatory moment, and it’s just one of the many experiences that’s wound into the DNA of the sweeping Exit Youth. READ MORE…

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