Beautifully crafted introspective songs with a dash of Impressionist colour.
Singer-songwriters come in many guises; and I can’t really why I prefer some and can’t stand others. Perhaps it’s the songs; but more likely for me it’s the voice and the phrasing; well that is definitely the case with the fourth album from Glaswegian Robin Adams.
Drawing on such diverse influences as Van Gogh, Nick Drake, Arthur Rimbaud and his own chronic illness all help dab spots of bright colours onto an otherwise drab grey canvas, in much the same way as only great art and poetry can achieve.
All of the songs here are tightly wound and feel like they could snap; such is their fragility; but the haunting beauty of Troubled Skies and the achingly gorgeous title track The Garden will stay with listeners forever.
The cello on Holy Smoke, adds a slightly ethereal quality to a perfectly crafted piece of lovelorn poetry set to a simple piece of music.
I mentioned earlier that it was Adam’s voice which has drawn me in here; and it has especially on the dark and brooding Midnight Blood, where his soft enunciation and deceptively complex guitar strumming combine to deliver a song that starts where the likes of Nick Drake left off.
In the best traditions of Folk Troubadours Robin Adams has a timeless quality to his writing and presentation; never sounding particularly Scottish or faux-American; he only sounds like himself.
While The Garden is never an ‘easy listen’; Adams not only wrote all of the songs here but his own crystal clear production has created a rare things in this often heartless and soulless industry; a collection of songs that ‘mean something’ and will resonate those who choose to seek it out and take great comfort when they listen in their own dark moments.
Released April 13th 2015