Adam James is an artist from the UK who recently released Ignite. Ignite is a sparse, melancholy EP which revolves around either piano and guitar and James’ vocals. On his Bandcamp page he says he took influence from genres such as rock, jazz and blues. Interestingly enough these songs don’t have many traces of the aforementioned genres. James writes acoustic based melancholy pop songs that put his vocals front and center.
The EP starts with “Ignite” which revolves around James’ vocals and an acoustic guitar. James strum's basic chords and the song is carried by his dynamic vocal performance. His delivery is passionate, reverent and heartfelt. He sings, “You’ve got chains round my throat, They’re cold on my skin. In your sick twisted game, I’m going all in. Now we’re broken and bruised, And it’s just not the same, Since you belong in my heart, Like a bullet in a brain.”
Next up is “Yesterday's Makeup” which has a similar feel to the first song. In fact the strumming ends up sounding a little too similar. Next up is “Bones” which contains more basic guitar playing that is carried by vocals. Luckily, James switches things up on the next track entitled “I Don't Want To Go” with some piano. James’ lyrics are like a stream of conscious of the mind. He sings, “Letters to strangers, Pages, phone numbers, To disconnected lines. Shoes old and dirty, Clubs and jazz singers, Old lovers writing new rhymes.”
“The Road” is the highlight on the EP. It contains some percussion but also is the catchiest, most accessible song on the EP. His vocal is soulful and spirited on this song and works out quite good for him. James reverts to the guitar on the closer “New Blood.” It’s arguably the best guitar based song on the EP.
James is a good singer who has a knack for writing poetic lyrics. Some levity in his delivery would be good at some points but maybe next time. On top of that I would have liked to hear different types of guitar playing. It also seemed to mesh into each giving little distinction between the guitar-based songs. Overall, he is off to a good start but has some room for improvement.
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