Release Date: Sep 9, 2016
Record label: Fat Possum
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Folk
As the revival of folk music that was first spearheaded a few years ago by acts such as Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Lumineers and Of Monsters and Men continues, it’s very exciting to see a renewal of the traditional singer-songwriter movement as well. Adam Torres is just one of many Americana/roots solo musicians who have popped up over the past few years, including Jason Isbell, Andrew Bird, The Tallest Man on Earth, etc. Torres is a bit of a prodigy, if you will.
Every once in a while something on a record stops you in your tracks. The second album from Athens’ Adam Torres is home to a few of those moments, but none are more striking than the first time his voice hits you. Torres’ voice is high. Tower block high, spectral, cloudlike and at odds with the opening few plain acoustic chords of Juniper Arms, which opens Pearls To Swine.
There’s a degree of would-be myth to Adam Torres’ backstory. He first gained some local notoriety as an undergraduate in Athens, Ohio in the middle of the ’00s, performing solo shows and playing guitar for indie-folk outfit Southeast Engine, heroes of that Ohio scene. In 2006, he self-released his first solo album at the age of 20, Nostra Nova, an album that developed a cult-classic status in the decade since, and a slightly greater visibility upon its reissue via Misra Records last year.
Arriving ten years after his debut, Pearls to Swine is the spacious sophomore LP from Austin-based singer/songwriter Adam Torres. While few had access to Nostra Nova, Torres' compelling 2006 small-batch release, the chamber folk opus slowly gained an air of cult status, finally earning itself a proper national reissue from Misra Records in 2015. As for its creator, Torres moved on from his college days in Athens, Ohio, dedicating several years to charity work in South America and eventually landing in the Lonestar State for graduate school and life beyond academia.
In the early part of this new century, Adam Torres became a cornerstone to the small university town of Athens, Ohio, first as a collegiate member of burgeoning indie folk-rock act Southeast Engine, then for his 2006 solo debut Nostra Nova, a haunted slice of Appalachia reissued just last year. Relocating to Austin in 2011 to pursue a master's degree at UT, Torres brought his cult status with him, one built on picturesque songs crafted by a Northeastern native. One imagines him a lone troubadour perched upon a rock in the foothills, cradling his beat-up guitar in the shadows of a prehistoric mountain range.