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Adem - Ringing In My Ear

  by Dominic B. Simpson

published: 17 / 9 / 2004

Adem - Ringing In My Ear
Label: Domino Records
Format: CD


Melancholic folk-inspired rock from former Fridge bassist and London-based home recorder , Adem, whose debut album 'Homesongs' has proved to be one of the albums of the year

Adem Ilhan is a busy man. The former Fridge bassist and London-based home recorder has not only released his 'Homesongs' album and played live relentlessly, but has also stepped in as an occasional member of laptop funkers Hot Chip as well as organising the two day Homefires festival at London’s Conway Hall (he played sets on both days for good measure). On top of that, he’s got an endless live schedule coming up, supporting Domino labelmate James Yorkston in the UK and Explosions In the Sky in the USA, the latter tour of which will open his music up to a whole new audience. And that music embellishes a contemplative, melancholic sound with acoustic guitars, auto harps, keyboards, organs, and unobtrusive percussion to create some highly personal songs. At a time when so many ‘singer-songwriters’ turn out to be bland tunesmiths looking for their 15 minutes of fame at the Kashmir Club, it’s a relief indeed to come across work such as Adem’s, which is intimate yet never grating. He’s also released this EP, featuring 'Ringing In My Ear' from the 'Homesongs' album and three new tracks that “slightly expands and changes our perception of where Adem is coming from”, according to the press release. The afore-mentioned 'Ringing...' is a strong, jaunty, upbeat number that wouldn’t be out of place on the second side of 'Led Zeppelin III', upon which Robert Plant and Jimmy Page let their folk tendencies out into the light. But the lyrics are contemplative, evoking September and bright colours; the inference is of a fading summer where the colour of leaves turns to ochre and a relationship sours. The melancholy continues with the second track 'Friends Beware', which begins with an auto harp before morphing into a waltz about loneliness. 'Wake Up Lullaby' is appropriately titled, a beautiful sparse lament with Adem and his backing band whispering against a plucked guitar motif. Finally, the fourth track packs in even more ideas and experimentation: 'Let Me Give You a Reason' is dark, droning, and hypnotic. Various percussive instruments, pagan-like flutes (the press release can’t help but reference 'The Wicker Man') and a cascading harp, are thrust to the fore, while Adem and his band murmur in the backdrop “I can give you a reason / But I’m not sure you want to hear it”, their voices low down in the mix. At a time when music can be increasingly ephemeral, the impressive talents of Adem are increasingly welcome. He deserves to be heard and this EP is a perfect place to start.

Track Listing:-
1 Ringing In My Ear
2 Friends, Beware
3 Wake Up Lullaby
4 Let Me Give You A Reason

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