Somojo Magazine

Adam Wilson made the move to London in his teens to immerse himself in the capitals music scene. Taking up the position of drummer/co-songwriter in psychedelic art-punk four-piece Aerial Stares (‘the missing link between Pink Floyd and REM’), where he began his education on the London live music circuit.

His blossoming talent quickly became apparent to fellow musicians and Adam was invited to moonlight as co-founder (with ex-Higson Simon Charterton) of local country-tinged moodsters The Aftershave, on drums and bv’s. Having found, around that time, a natural affinity with the country and folk song writing traditions, he began writing his own songs and was soon promoted to provide both The Aftershave’s rhythm guitar and a few original ballads.

After a handful of releases, Adam yearned for the independence of solo work and took to the solo singer-songwriter circuit in 1998, playing the intimate venues and club nights which sprang up all over Camden Town, Islington, and the East and West Ends. This live experience was an ideal testing ground for his solo work. Following years were spent thinking, writing, changing, evolving, learning, developing ideas, reading, watching, observing, and writing some more. In his lyric writing, Adam looked to his love of twentieth century poetry, haiku, real peoples’ stories of sadness, suffering and loss, politics, social justice, and the natural environment, for inspiration. Kerouac, Borroughs, Will Self, Raymond Carver, Bukowski, all proved major figures in lyrical references. Diverse artists including Scott Walker, Neil Young, The Smiths, David Bowie, Johnny Cash, Nick Drake, Jeff Buckley, Emmylou Harris, Joni Mitchell, Jacques Brel, Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, Depeche Mode, Brian Eno, Lambchop, Benjamin Britten, and Dmitri Shostakovich, provided an eclectic musical backdrop to his ever-blooming craft and unique style.

Signing to Zube Records gave Adam the breakthrough he had been seeking and his debut album was released via the Zube label in 2008. Recorded mainly at his home studio in Camden, and at Steve Honest’s ‘New Music Productions’ facility in London EC1, Chaos And Grace was an introduction to a lyrical voice and versatile guitar style apparently absent from the singer-songwriter scene of the preceding years. The atmosphere overall was laid-back, although this would belie the lyrical themes which murmured and seethed under the arrangements and expressive melodies. Tipping The Balance and the title track made reference to the themes of global warming which would become a lyrical thread in future work, as would love and death (Layby Shrine).

The following year was spent refining and completing his first musical theatre piece, The Reader’s Wife, and finishing the songs for the current album West Coast Elegy. This follow-up is so called as most of it was written on the west coasts of Wales and Scotland and is essentially concerned with things gone or soon to be gone (people, places, ways of life). But it is a beautiful, involving second album, drenched in melody and abundant with wry observation and incisive wit, but fleet of foot. All songs are inter-related, and although not a ‘concept’ album in the strict sense, the songs cross-reference both in the music and the lyrics to give a cohesive whole.

West Coast Elegy has seen the introduction of fellow musicians (producer Paul Barton) who have been drafted in to build a wider more eclectic sound which hints at new possibilities to come, and experiments with instrumentation have born unexpectedly sweet fruit.

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