Release Date: Mar 4, 2016
Record label: Fortuna
House Music, the first solo album by former Broken Family Band member Steven James Adams, was recorded in his front room with a bunch of mates. In contrast, Old Magick was conjured with producer Dan Michaelson in a London studio, but if anything its arrangements are more sparse and pared back than those of its predecessor. There’s economy, too, in the album’s brevity, and no fat on any of its 10 lean tracks – or perhaps that should be nine tracks, since More Togetherness is a gorgeously echoey reprise of the opening song’s refrain.
A well-established songwriter after his time leading bands such as the Broken Family Band and Singing Adams, Steven James Adams returns two years after his solo debut, House Music, with the more streamlined Old Magick. While his debut was a home recording with several guest musicians, the follow-up was recorded in a professional studio with the smaller crew of producer Dan Michaelson (who also plays guitar, bass, and piano on the record), drummer Daniel Fordham, and percussionist Neil Rogers. The limited instrumentation and scope fittingly put the spotlight on songcraft and on Adams as singer/songwriter, as he's not only a sharp, often wry lyricist but a top-notch weaver of breezy melodies.
Steven James Adams once told the manager of a well-known London club to shove his venue up his arse. His Broken Family Band got great reviews but couldn’t eat them. He worked in a biscuit factory. Now he lives in Walthamstow, which has become terribly trendy. He just can’t win. Still he ….