sun 21/07/2024

CD: Steve Adey - The Tower of Silence | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Steve Adey - The Tower of Silence

CD: Steve Adey - The Tower of Silence

English songwriter returns with an album full of ghosts and shadows

'The Tower of Silence': aptly named

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.

It's something to immerse yourself in when the house is quiet and memories start to rise


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Share this article

Add comment

Subscribe to

Thank you for continuing to read our work on For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 15,000 pieces, we're asking for £5 per month or £40 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take a 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 gift subscription?


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters