Limbo presents this special show from UK ‘folktronica’ pioneer singer Adem, promoting new album Seconds Are Acorns (Oneiric), with support from Glasgow’s Jo Mango (Olive Grove) and Edinburgh songstress Hailey Beavis.
Founding member of pioneering post-rock band Fridge alongside Four Tet’s Kieran Hebden and one half of Silver Columns with Johnny Lynch aka The Pictish Trail, Adem has released three previous solo albums; Homesongs (2004), Love And Other Planets (2006), and 2008’s alternative covers album Takes. All warm songs and occasionally unsettling sonics, seconds are acorns is resonant with Adem’s biggest, boldest melodies to date.
Despite the gap between releases, Adem has hardly been idle. The pop polymath and former pupil at the Elliott School in South London – a veritable hot-bed of playful creativity which the other members of Fridge attended, as did Hot Chip, Burial, The Maccabees, and The XX – has been involved in a wide variety of projects, from music to the movies. He has composed the soundtracks for several films, including Armando Iannucci’s In The Loop, and he has scored a season for the Royal Shakespeare Company. He sang a cover of Johnny Cash’s I Walk The Line for a Levi’s jeans commercial and contributed a cover of Jeff Buckley’s Mojo Pin for the tribute album Dream Brother: The Songs of Tim and Jeff Buckley. He collaborated with acclaimed Scottish folk trio Lau on the EP Ghosts (credited to Lau vs Adem), and he founded and organised the Homefires Festival which ran for three years in the mid-noughties and featured the likes of Joanna Newsom, Smog, Grizzly Bear, Bert Jansch, Vashti Bunyan, Badly Drawn Boy, Beth Orton and Hot Chip “unplugged”.
Adem has increasingly been taking the role of producer, most recently on Radiohead drummer Philip Selway’s 2014 solo album Weatherhouse. Adem also supported Selway on his US tour. In addition, he has “contributed sounds” to many records, from Bat For Lashes to Beth Orton, and he provided string arrangements for Foxes, Years And Years and Hot Chip and remixing artists as diverse as Sia and Explosions In The Sky, Underworld and Manic Street Preachers.
On seconds are acorns the theme was, “not to have a theme”, says Adem, “and I failed!” These are personal songs, sung with heartfelt candour, with a universal appeal that have the potential to be heard by the broadest audience of Adem’s career.
“It’s the biggest, most confident sounding record I’ve made yet, and I’ve brought all the skills I’ve learned over the years to bear on it,” he says. “It’s wide and encompassing, but retains that special intimate and personal quality that I try to bring to all my solo releases. I want people to connect with it. There is so much disconnection everywhere, in all our lives. I like that sense of community; the fact that people come together at my gigs and share a personal experience.”
In a field saturated with folk-influenced singer-songwriters Jo Mango stands apart. Her beguiling yet intensely intellectual work draws upon her adventures whilst travelling the world as a member of Vashti Bunyan’s band and her experiences over the last few years completing a Doctorate in Musicology plus her collaborations with David Byrne (Carnegie Hall, NY 2007), Devendra Banhart, Coco Rosie, Teenage Fanclub (Baby Lee, 2011), and Admiral Fallow (Beetle in the Box, 2012) amongst others.
Singer/ songwriter Hailey Beavis is testament to true creative art. A self taught musician, writer and artist, Norfolk born Hailey is one of the UK’s finest evolving artists. Her voice and songs are honest and true to her life experiences, revealing a boundless and free imagination.
The Bongo Club