August 17, 2012
by Grant Rindner
Take one listen to Home, the new EP that Jake Cheriff a.k.a. Modern Diet released this past July, and it’s clear that the organic, almost hypnotic sound and cohesiveness of the project could only come from the vision of a singular musician.
Cheriff, who has been writing his own music for years, not only wrote and performed the music on the album but also mixed, mastered and produced the three-track project from his home in Chappaqua.
“I’ve always been more impressed by music that is written, recorded and performed by the same artist,” Cheriff says, “I think the core inspiration for a song is diluted when it changes hands too many times.”
Having a hand in every aspect of the creative process allows Cheriff “the convenience of writing, recording and producing on my own time” and the satisfaction of “knowing that the product is purely a representation of my own work and growth as an artist” that is not felt as keenly during the collaborative process.
Cheriff, a multi-instrumentalist who sings and plays the guitar, keyboard, drums and bass, imbues each song with its own unique tone. “Rip Tide” blends pulsating electronic drums, swelling keyboards and harmonies to create a brooding, pensive backdrop for Cheriff’s powerful vocals.
Cheriff categorizes the EP as “Indie R&B” and cites diverse groups ranging from rock band Young the Giant to R&B singer Frank Ocean as influences for the sound on the project, which is a departure from much of his previous music.
In order to promote Home, Cheriff has been promoting the album online, primarily through Facebook and Bandcamp in an effort to spread his music to as many people as possible. Modern Diet’s music is also available for purchase through iTunes and can be streamed via Soundcloud, Spotify and Last.FM.
This fall, Cheriff heads to NYU to study in its “Music Technology” program, which focuses on “the overlap between music and physics in order to hone skills pertaining to hearing, sonic production, acoustics and general recording and engineering.”
Cheriff won’t be resting on his laurels for long though. He’s gearing up for the first full-length Modern Diet LP, Get Lost, which will feature some music from Home and will be released this October.
Grant Rindner is a 2012 Greeley graduate who is headed for Wake Forest University this fall. He also writes for Bleacher Report.