28 December 2018

Adam Littlemore Music - Mirrors EP

It has been three years since I last reviewed Adam Littlemore Music, a Sunderland based ambient guitar artist.  The first piece of music I reviewed was his six-track demo release, which you can read here.  It was a solid release, one which felt as if there was a little bit more work to be done.  The demo just felt as if he was still trying to figure out his sound.  Any artist who is making music will tell you that they're never finished that search for this sound, it never ends with a release of new music. There will always be more sounds to explore, a hell of a lot more to do, ideas to edit in your mind,  All of which will bubble over, with experiments being conducted to bring that elusive sound that haunts your dreams.  I think that Adam has been on a quest since I last heard his music, with Mirrors EP being the end result.  Now, in the three years since the release of Adam Littlemore Music, it has not been quiet on his front.  He's been a regular name around the North-East and he has been picking up attention from a lot of people.

This leads me to the initial contact I received from ALM about reviewing this EP, for the poor lad was worried about the music being released before its official release date. As new music is something that is always incredibly precious to the musician who created it, I can understand why Adam was more than a little hesitant here.  When albums are sometimes leaked by record companies (lest we forget the cock-up that Father John Misty experienced), you have to be incredibly careful of your new product.  I would certainly be worried if it were my work going out, especially if it was before an EP launch at The Cluny.  But fear not, the music supplied will not be leaked here, I would never do that to any artist.

So, a little background about the recording of this EP:  The recording session happened on 27th September 2018 at Miners' Hall Studio, Sunderland, engineering and mixing were handled by James Hutchinson, with production duties being completed by Barry Hyde (of The Futureheads).  Which brings us back to the music itself.  For me here, I'm interested in finding out how Adam has progressed from the kid with some demos, how he has grown as an artist and developed his style.

01 - Refections

Starting with an atmospheric guitar, a quite drum machine and using samples about the position of the Earth in the Universe, "Refections" is a seven-minute song which seems to pass in the blink of an eye if you let it.  It rolls over you, with the gentle force of a stream as you listen to documentary footage about Earth's place in the universe.  It's very reminiscent of Public Service Broadcasting, with the sample and slow-building atmosphere.  There is also a hint of Warm Digits to the sound here too, but with a lot of Adam's own style which he brought to his original songs too.  I like "Refections" a lot, it soothes you and you cannot help but admire the sound created.

02 - Cracked Memories

"Cracked Memories" is a mash of sounds and noises from the guitar, all looped together to create a soundboard that smashes into you in waves.  The music seems to ebb and flow like the sea hits the coast.  You can imagine a video of water with this one, as the guitar hits you over and over again.  Unlike "Refections", there is no slow build here and that is refreshing as well, plus the bonus noise attack at the end is beautifully captured.  This is another track in the tick column.

03 -  Prisms

Using samples from the Apollo 11 Moonlanding, "Prisms" is a brilliant ending track for this EP.  It builds up and there is a focus to this track which was not there in his earlier demos.  The importance of this cannot be understated, as it gives the noise a purpose, a reason apart from random noise and beautiful tones.  The song builds with a Mogwai/Public Service Broadcasting patience, letting the riffs and notes mix well with the dialogue of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.  This is the right track to end the Mirrors EP, it is the union of both of Adam's style, both the noise and the focused sides of his performance.

After listening to this EP, I can safely say that Adam has definitely made great strides in his sound.  The improvement cannot be understated here, which is a great thing to see.  You always want to see artists grow, to add to their sound and to take experiences and transform them into something else.  I can hear a lot of bands in this EP, as mentioned before I was reminded of Public Service Broadcasting, Warm Digits and also Mogwai too.  These are all cracking comparisons to be honest, something which is only natural with instrumental music.  If there was one thing about the release that threw me, it was the initial drum machine.  I wasn't too sure about it at first, but it works so well that you forget it there.  I think the additions to his sound have been added perfectly and the progress is massive.  Mirrors EP is a great release from Adam, one that will cement his growing reputation in the North East.

4 out of five - This is really good, well worth checking out

Top track - Prisms

You can follow the activities of Adam Littlemore Music on Facebook here.

The Adam Littlemore Music Soundcloud page can be found here.

Here is a link to the EP Launchpage on Facebook, which is happening at The Cluny on January 20th 2019.

At the time of writing, Mirrors EP is not available to purchase or stream.  However, once it has been released, I will update the links to purchase/hear it.

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