Steve Adey - ‘Do Me a Kindness’
Out 4th August 2017 (LP, CD, DD) on Grand Harmonium Records / Physical distribution via Shellshock
“Brilliant… Every second of his music matters. There isn’t a single strum or pluck that isn’t giving 110%.”
The Sunday Times (Album Of The Week)
“A great voice” Metro
“Beautiful and grandly” Q
“Innovative and unique” Aesthetica
“Beautiful, delicate production” The Skinny Mag
“Breathtaking sonic purity” Music Week
Edinburgh-based singer-songwriter Steve Adey's third studio album, ‘Do Me a Kindness’, will be released on vinyl LP, CD & digital download formats on 4th August 2017.
The album contains nine cover songs, plus an adaptation of a poem by Hermann Hesse, and marks Steve’s first release in five years following on from the critically-acclaimed 2012 LP ‘The Tower of Silence’ (awarded Album Of The Week by The Sunday Times).
Do Me a Kindness was recorded in a 19th century Edinburgh church, with further tracking & mixing at Steve’s home studio, utilising mostly vintage equipment.
“I entered the studio (actually a church building) with 18-20 ideas, unformed and embryonic; it’s the same approach I’ve used for a while whereby the record takes on its own trajectory. We tried many variations of the songs and numerous musicians, mostly playing together in the room… With warts and all.”
‘Do Me A Kindness’ – album tracklisting;
1. The Unsigned Painting/Sense of Doubt (Rickie Lee Jones, David Bowie)
2. The Devil (PJ Harvey)
3. Everyday Is Like Sunday (Morrissey)
4. To Cry About (Mary Margaret O'Hara)
5. God Is In The House (Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds)
6. I Want You (Bob Dylan)
7. Over (Portishead)
8. Murderer (Low)
9. How Heavy the Days (Hermann Hesse, Steve Adey)
10. River Guard (Smog)
Do Me a Kindness was initially intended by Steve as an EP; a creative left turn (or escape) from writing and recording his third long-player, a work in progress self-penned album of all original material. Alas, four songs in a week spiralled into ten songs over a year!
“I wanted the recording to sound immediate, especially the vocal, where I was going for single takes. Much of what we kept was a mistake or something totally unintentional.”
Helena MacGilp assembled a six piece vocal group for several songs.
“It was about feel and singing along rather than figuring out complicated harmonies,” says Steve. On "God Is In The House", I wanted the sound of a congregation singing - gathered around, with Helena's vocal recorded from the spire; it's how we got that long haunting reverb.”
Mixing & tracking in isolation lasted several months. No computers were used during the recording and mixing process.
"I had a Mellotron, Moog pedal-board and an array of vintage outboard; it's where the record found its own sonic identity. I wanted to experiment with cutting/pasting and editing in the studio.
“I don’t want to be the guy who strums along to the songbook doing a karaoke rendition. I was constantly thinking - how could I turn these songs inside out, but still retain the core of what makes them great? I think it was Brian Eno that said, "In art you can crash a plane and walk away." (Laughing...)... I don't know, it felt personal, you know, which is ironic.”
Steve Adey recorded, produced and played all instruments except;
Jonathan Whitefield-Green - trumpet (1,2,4,6,7)
Dougie Hudson - percussion (1,4,6,7,10)
Doug MacDonald - guitars (except 9)
Helena MacGilp - voice
Ismael Florit - bass (6)
Izabela Kalka - saxophone (6)
Atzi Muramatsu - cello (9)
Peter Strandberg - acoustic guitar (9)
Anne Borthwick, Chris Elmes, Andrew MacIntyre, Ewan McClure, Fiona McCrindle, Carole McMurray - group vocals (3, 5, 6, 10)
Matt Canning for www.herdsofbirds.com contributed illustrations for the album’s artwork.
About Steve Adey
Steve was born in Birmingham, England. He lived in New York City for several years before moving to Edinburgh. He previously worked as a recording engineer on genres from heavy rock to classical and folk.
His debut album All Things Real was released in 2006 via Grand Harmonium Records. The album was critically well-received and made several ‘Best of 2006’ year-end lists.
In 2007 he played several festivals and released a limited 7” single, Burning Fields, as well as the Mississippi: Remixed EP, which featured remixes from Kramer (Second Shimmy, Low) and Sweet Billy Pilgrim amongst others. A five-song EP entitled These Resurrections was released in May 2011.
The Tower of Silence (2012) - the follow-up to debut All Things Real - was a subtly beautiful record encompassing a myriad emotions. Adey carved out a filmic wall of sound, offsetting his baritone vocal and piano led songs. The title came from of a place in India where the dead are laid to rest on a hill tower and gifted to the birds. But on a musical level it pertains to the value of silence - making sure nothing is overplayed was important.
“Every second of his music matters. There isn’t a single strum or pluck that isn’t giving 110%.” (The Sunday Times)
“I was careful not to make something that was ornamental or over produced. I wanted it to sound like it was done quickly, but thoroughly considered and fully realised" (Steve Adey)
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