Sunday, March 2, 2008

ARTIST: Where your heart comes from

This is Adem (pronounced Ah-dem - like the season), the unassuming singer-songwriter from south London who stole my heart last March in Salt Lake (and at the Urban Lounge of all places!). That night he was opening for Badly Drawn Boy - and it turned out that seeing him was a perfect example of why I love music. I walked into the show not knowing Adem from, well Adam - but left feeling like we'd shared some intense personal experience. I couldn't help but feel that way after hearing his thoughtful songs, seeing his sincere delivery, and feeling his over-all genuine-ness. We visited with him briefly afterward (he was working his own merch-booth), and he turned out to be just as wonderfully genuine as his music.

Well as great as his original songs were, some of the highest points of his short set were when he played a beautifully muted rendition of Brian Wilson's "God Only Knows" on the ukulele, and recited "Little Red Fox" over his own hand-bell arrangement (pictured above). These two songs demonstrated Adem's deft ability to take someone else's work, great in its own right, and give it his own substance and meaning - which explains why I was so excited to learn that Adem's third record, Takes (due out in May), is going to be made up completely of cover-songs. He'll be re-working tunes by Bjork, Yo La Tengo, and the Smashing Pumpkins, among others.

Here's one of my very favorite tracks off his first album, Homesongs.

from the album Homesongs (Amazon/iTunes)


brook said...

i love the lyrics

blindmikey said...

Not only does this man know pain, but he's sat down and had tea with it. And it shows in his music.