Since starting my blog I have had the opportunity to follow the progress of many talented musicians. It makes me happy when they continue to release music of a high calibre. One of these musicians is Adam Jensen who I have been a fan of for many years and have seen his music go from strength to strength.
I first heard about this award winning songwriter and producer when he was part of the band Mission Hill (see post Mission Hill). Since then he has decided to become a solo artist and work on developing a more personal sound. Earlier this year he released his debut solo EP ‘Head on a String’ (see post dam Jensen is Back) which was received to great reviews. He has now released its follow up called ‘Behold the Man EP’.
What can I say about this release? Personally I think it is his best work yet! Adam always continues to surprise me (in a good way) as his music always evolves which results in a stronger collection of songs. This is proven again on ‘Behold the Man EP’.
This 6 track release is another great example of Adam’s songwriting ability which is the first thing I always look for in his new music. He has always had the ability to mould words into great stories filled with depth and emotion. One of my highlights from the EP, ‘The Kid’, is a great example of this talent. This tells the story of a kid who robs a bank, but when you listen to the lyrics you understand that it tells so much more. The lyrics feel darker which include more explicit lyrics than before, but I think they are used to great effect to give songs a realistic edge. These lyrics are delivered by Adam’s great vocal tone which sounds stronger than ever.
The arrangement on this release is a lot different and it took me a few listens to adjust to its sound. It uses more synthesizer’s than before but it is used in a subtle way which does add to the music produced. I can hold my hands up and say I am not the biggest fan of synthesizer’s but they are used more in modern music so I’m learning to keep an open mind. I do need to mention that there is a sample from a Popeye cartoon used at the start of ‘The Mad Ones’. Crazy but cool!
As you read earlier ‘The Kid’ is a highlight from the EP and ‘Damned if I do, Damned if I Don’t’ also stands out. My favourite track is ‘Numb’ which has this dark emotion to it with it’s simple message. The combination of Adam’s vocals and the words used to describe the feeling may be slightly depressing, but it gives this track an honest feel about it. This has to be in my top 3 songs from Adam.
I will confirm that this is Adam’s best work so far and recommend that you give the EP a listen.
I got the opportunity to ask Adam a few questions about the EP.
What was your goal when creating this EP & how did you feel when you first heard the end result?
‘My goal with this EP was to make something that didn't sound like any of my other records. I took a totally different approach to the writing process and production of these tracks. I wanted it to sound unique and something that could only be classified as me.’
You have a great talent when it comes to writing lyrics, what is your secret?
‘Thanks man!! When I'm writing songs for my own project I write about what I know. I write about myself and my own experiences. I find it hard to really put emotion and truth into the vocals unless I'm singing about something I personally know. Singing about raising cattle on a farm wouldn't work for me, but singing about punching someone in the face or having your heart ripped out is something I feel qualified to sing about. The lyrics come very easy when I'm writing about a story in my life or when I'm writing about how I felt during a certain time. I wanted this album to be very personal lyrically so I purposely only wrote about things that I personally experienced.’
What is your favourite track from the ‘Behold the Man’?
‘Hmmm my favourite song changes week to week but I've really been feeling Numb. I like how it sounds so different from all my other stuff.’
If you could choose anyone to sing on your next release, who would it be and why?
‘Lorde cuz she is awesome!! Her voice is incredible. When she sings it can only be her.’
What do you have planned for 2014 and does it involve a full length album?
‘I hope to tour a bunch in 2014 in support of the new EP. And of course I'm already working on stuff for the next album! I will definitely be putting out more EPs in 2014, but I'm not really a fan of full-length albums anymore. The attention span of the consumer has shrunk over the last decade so I think full length albums are kind of on the out. Id rather release several EPs over the course of the year so I can keep people interested. Also Ill continue to write for and produce other artists out of my NightOwl Studios in Boston.’
It sounds like Adam has a busy 2014 planned and I can’t wait to hear the results. I am a little gutted that an album will not be happening but I can understand his reasons. However, I am excited that there is more music in the works which means you will hear more about the music of Adam Jensen on the blog in the future.
I highly recommend that you pick up a copy of ‘Behold the Man EP’ as it is a fantastic collection of songs which are filled with great lyrics (available from the ITunes and Amazon). You can find about more Adam from his website adamjensenmusic.com or his Facebook and Twitter pages. Remember, if you like what you hear, then support the music!