CD: Steve Adey - The Tower of Silence | New music reviews, news & interviews
CD: Steve Adey - The Tower of Silence
English songwriter returns with an album full of ghosts and shadows
English singer-songwriter Steve Adey has taken six years to follow up his excellent debut album, All Things Real, and at first it’s hard to tell why. These 10 songs, simply constructed, are executed without any great fuss or ornament, but slowly their sense of depth and unhurried devotion to quality reveals itself.
The album is aptly named. Adey doesn't do party music. “Are we laughing?” is the question posed during the second song, “Laughing”. Not on Adey’s watch, we’re not. Recorded in a 19th-century Edinburgh church, this is relentlessly downbeat midnight music. When a (terrific) cover of Alasdair Roberts’ death-watch anthem “Farewell Sorrow” qualifies as a perky mid-album pick-me-up you know you’ve ventured deep into the land of ghosts and shadows.
It’s lovely, though, Adey’s rich, quavering baritone sweeping over slow, sad songs of memory and regret. So still it barely moves at all, “Just Wait Till I Get You Home” recalls The Blue Nile at their most lovelorn and bereft. Elsewhere there are echoes of emotionally coruscating US songwriters, from Mark Eitzel on “Army of One” to Josh T Pearson on the closing "Tomorrow".
“Dita Parlo”, inspired by the German actress who starred in Jean Vigo’s L’Atalante, is dramatically orchestral, while a couple of short, atmospheric instrumentals have daubs of electronic texture, but mostly these songs need little more than piano, guitar and voice to connect. It’s not one for the iPod shuffle, nor the office party. The Tower of Silence is something to immerse yourself in when the house is quiet and memories start to rise.
Subscribe to theartsdesk.com
Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.
To take an annual subscription now simply click here.
And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?
more New music
Renowned fusioneers give themselves studio space to play
Yet more outings for essential but oft-reissued albums by two seminal British bands
Crossover jazz star returns to his roots
Beyoncé's personal and political project is dark, visual and deeply spiritual
The Indian raga slide guitar genius talks Hawaii, Brighton, punk rock and more
From Emmylou Harris to German jazz to London techno, all the new vinyl action is here
Legends and up-and-coming stars are recognised at the third Jazz FM Awards
Spectral electronic balladry from rising LA-based Australian talent
An evening of unearthly delights with the Wise Ol' Man of rock'n'roll
Eno paints another masterpiece
Georgian charm and high-quality roots music make for a delightful programme
The Nest Collective celebrates a decade of the best in folk and world music