Tom Adams and his hypnotic and mineral “Silence”

Stories out of touch with the present and with the past. Stories the future longs to embrace, squeezing them to exhaustion. Luckily, many of these stories are like temporal bubbles, outside of current and prominent events, marked bombs and persecuted men. Stories creating another world, one that belongs to only us, cleaner and better, utopian and personal, stretchable to infinity. A world impassable to detractors.

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A world bursting with soil where beautiful bursts grow. Fleur bleue, sensitivity combined with naivety and exacerbated romanticism, Tom Adams’ work, a singer-songwriter based in Berlin, boils down to these adjectives. Far from being reductive, “Silence” is a piano-voice assonance not governed by earthly gravity at all. As its name indicates, the album leaves space for time, does not hammer it, does not let it run or fritter away. ” I wrote the album soon after moving to Berlin where i found myself embracing the idea of noise for the first time. ” Tom explains to me. ” I had always in the past been focused on trying to make things perfect in my music, but have now started embracing the imperfection in what i do ; it leads to much more interesting and genuine feeling music. In a way, I feel this the geographical move i made from a quiet countryside location to the vibrancy and freedom of a city like Berlin is mirrored in my approach to making music. The album title came out of this line of thought. “

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The perfectly named first song’s call, “Come On, Dreamer”, strikes up a conversation at once. A muffled and dreamy conversation, mingling emotions with the sound of a crystal-clear falsetto voice, shrouded in hazy-electro clouds and a mist of melancholic particles. A mist undoubtedly dubbed by the album’s artwork, by this aquatic opacity of the bottom of a waterfall, a giant spray stemming from a country where nature has reclaimed its rights. ” The picture was taken in Iceland. I was doing a 3 week camping trip there with a friend (Dan Jeffries, the same person that i mixed the record with) and this photo came out of that trip. I think a waterfall is a nice metaphor for the contrast between silence and noise which i was exploring on this record.  Silence is often defined as being ‘a complete absence of sound’, however i think in most of our life the idea of silence can only ever be perceived as a relative state in contrast to another state of more noise. “

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A kind of mineral spirit haunts “Silence”. A spirit made of crystal, fresh water and volcanic rock, leaving behind it a melancholic veracity worthy of the most beautiful Icelandic plains, where the natural polarities coexist in an immutable fullness. This confrontation can be transposed to that of the author: ” I live in a city and the level of background noise it is very loud. When i go out to nature the thing i enjoy most is the silence ; but it isnt really silence, its just different, quieter and more natural noises to the ones in a city. I have found that no matter how silent the situation i am in, there always seem to be sounds underneath the other sounds. Even going into an anechoic chamber with no outside noises, you start to hear your body, your heartbeat. Our brains are very good at tuning out of constant sounds, such as the buzz of a refrigerator or the background conversation in a bar. Perhaps being in a situation where there are so many noises that the only thing you can hear is noise could also be considered to be silence. “

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When “Time” exhales its last breath, suspension is at its peak. Two things are then offered to us – either to stay overrun, eyes staring into space, by the sublime tinnitus of the minutes gone by, or to start listening all over again to ward off Tom Adams’ sorcery, his hypnosis, his resonant spell that we should more often let ourselves be bewitched by.

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“Silence” by Tom Adams was released on 2nd May 2017 on Kowloon Records.

Follow the artist’s news on his Facebook and Twitter pages, or on his official website.

Thank you to Leonardo at Kowloon Records for his help, and to Tom Adams for his kindness.


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Julien Catala
Rédacteur / Chroniqueur Writer / Columnist

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