out now: Tom Adams – Voyages by Starlight EP [Kowloon Records]May 6, 2016
Voyages by Starlight EP
06th May 2015
vinyl & digital
Voyages By Starlight
The Last Farewell
Combining enveloping minimalism with a spellbinding falsetto, Berlin-based songwriter/composer Tom Adams conveys immense emotion utilizing just a few elements. Masterfully balancing tactile acoustic and electronic instruments, Adams’ music is as expansive as it is elegantly peculiar – evoking cinematic odes to nature’s majesty and the divergent depths of the human condition. Receiving accolades for his wide-ranging output of synth-guided exploits, chamber pop, melancholic piano-ambient works, and moody film scores, Tom Adams veers into the cerebral and introspective on his debut EP for London’s Kowloon Records.
Recorded as live takes in a single afternoon, Adams’ neo-classical approach to nuance captures a compelling grace that’s increasingly rare. Bookended by the idyllic ambience of “Voyages By Starlight” and “The Last Farewell”, the heart of the EP is a trio of stargazing ballads. The yearning keys and raw intimacy of “Seven Birds” and “Fade” hypnotize as much as they pull your heartstrings, while the expansive “Stellar” explores a wider sonic palette weaving together delicate piano with arpeggiated cosmic synth pulse. Using the studio as instrument (aided by custom-made Max MSP software), Adams’ exploratory production techniques leave his signature mark on this collection of shimmering electro-acoustic arrangements that echo the ghost of Jeff Buckley circling the musical orbits of modern innovators like Jon Hopkins or Kiasmos.
Quickly gaining a reputation for his striking live performances, Tom Adams has recently opened for A Winged Victory For the Sullen, Perfume Genius, Moonface, among many others. He was recently commissioned to remix Max Richter’s ‘Berlin By Overnight’, released by Deutsche Grammophon. In addition to self-releasing his acclaimed 2015 EP ‘The Constant Noise’, Adams also composed the OST for the Universal Pictures feature film ‘The Knife That Killed Me’.
Full Track Streaming:
This is very different music for a blog that is focussed on electronic music. But you know that we are also Mute fans and always discovered music by listening to their new signings.
This happened here too. Tom Adams was signed in 2015 by the publishing company Mute Song that is part of the Mute family. So we already listened to Tom’s music a while ago.
We were a bit confused … nice sounds, but do we like the falsetto voice? Being interested but not really convinced we were waiting for his next release. Months passed before Tom announced that his new EP will be released on Kowloon Records.
When we got the promo release of “Voyages By Starlight” and gave it some plays, we knew: YES it is a great artist. Sure the voice is unusual for our ears but if you give it a chance you will hear how beautiful it is. And sounds? The sounds – electronic & piano – got us already from the first listening.
Example cues from OST “The Knife That Killed Me”
“Seven Birds (live in London 8/8/2015)”