Austin duo Me Nd Adam’s new track “Something Better” flares with confidence and a lively rhythm that makes it the perfect party anthem this fall. Me Nd Adam is made up of Adam Walker and Vince Winik, who met in New Orleans. Now, they are based in Austin, Texas, where they create songs about cities, heartbreak and hangovers. To produce “Something Better,” Me Nd Adam collaborated with Doug Schadt, who has worked with Maggie Rogers, and Chris Athens, who has worked with Drake, Coldplay, Beastie Boys and Jay-Z.
Me Nd Adam received praise from Rolling Stone India, Wonderland Magazine and The Line of Best Fit. In addition, the duo has garnered prominent sync placements, such as MTV’s “Real World.” The music video for their single “Heartbreak Kid” was a finalist at the Austin Music Video Festival and was nominated for Video of the Year.
Adam distinctly remembers Vince showing up to his house one night and calling him to come out to his car to talk about “Something Better.”
“I remember being like, ‘What the hell is he doing here?’ I go outside and get in and he’s like, ‘Listen to this right now.’ He plays this new version of the song he’s been working on and it blows my mind,” Adam said.
Vince said that “Something Better” started with the melodic samples in the pre-chorus and some chords. Adam was singing the vocal idea for the same section and said, “We’re just waiting for something better.”
“We threw some distortion on that line and knew it was the lyric that paid off. From there, we knew we wanted a big drop and the rest is history,” Vince mentioned.
“Something Better” was born out of the boredom of quarantine. Adam thinks it’s safe to assume that his generation will forever be known as the one that spent a solid chunk of their 20s living through a pandemic in this “beautiful and chaotic hellscape known as America.”
The duo said their favorite line in the track is “the only time that I feel alive is late at night when I’m f****** hammered.”
Adam said, “It’s funny that our favorite line of the song is the first line of the song. I love this line because ‘Something Better’ is also the song we open our live sets with — back when live shows were still a thing.”
He continued, “I love that the very first lyric you hear from us is this one. It’s funny, honest, relatable and swashbucklin’ all at the same time.”
Adam said that “Something Better” is about binge drinking. “Depression, anxiety, listlessness, boredom, fun, addiction, control and hopelessness all factor in there somewhere,” he mentioned.
Vince intervened and said that life right now feels like everyone is in a waiting room together.
“It’s gonna be okay. I don’t know when or how, but I have to believe it will be. If it’s not, at least we can try and make the most of it,” he said.
Adam discussed how they do not always have a “hearing the final version moment” when recording a song because they do all of their own writing, producing and mixing.
“Every step of the process is in our hands. That said, there’s usually a turning point with every song where it ‘breaks-through’ from an idea that’s worth exploring to something valid, that stands on its own,” Adam expressed.
Vince said that some songs they wrote started as guitar riffs, some as chords and melody and others as computer compositions. No matter where they start, the duo kicks them around together.
“We explore the progressions and combinations of the chords and melodic ideas. Next, we analyze the stylistic space and tempo we want the song to live in by testing things like drum sounds and textures. Do we want this to be an 808 vibe with modern synths, or live drums with live bass and 80s synths? Can we do both?” Vince described.
Lyrically, Adam comes to the table with a lot of ideas mapped out, and Vince interjects with questions about the narrative, key words and phrases and some welcome opinions. By the end, they believe they come up with something they are proud of — something that comes across as truthful.
The duo’s most unforgettable gig was when they performed at Austin Pride Fest, which was one of their biggest gigs early on.
“My DJ rig overheated in the sun and completely broke. It was embarrassing and hard to forget. Luckily, Adam came in at the perfect time with an acoustic Britney Spears cover while I fanned the computer with a cardboard box,” Vince said.
“Hahaha! Yes, that was a bit of a mess, but it did allow me to grace our audience with a bit of Queen Brit,” Adam followed up.
He concluded with advice to other aspiring singers, “If it’s truly what you want to do, you’ve gotta just start doing it. Don’t wait around for accolades or help from anyone. Don’t make excuses. You have to believe in yourself first, the rest will follow.”
Contact Ron Rocky Coloma at rcoloma ‘at’ stanford.edu.