New Music Review – Tom Adams – In The Constant Noise

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Musician: Tom Adams
Album: In The Constant Noise – 2014
Genre: Ambient, minimal, singer-songwriter, soundscape
Social Media: Facebook/Soundcloud/Bandcamp

UK Composer, singer-songwriter, producer and every-man Tom Adams released a an interesting idea for an album, last month, called, In The Constant Noise. And unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to have a listen, because I’m a nonce and forgot, until now. Now, this album painted me as interested, by coming up with a clever concept that I enjoy musicians experimenting with in their music.

As lazy as this is, I thought I’d quote what Adams has written on his Bandcamp, as I believe it does the job of putting this little album into focus:

“‘In The Constant Noise’ was recorded outside very late at night using a small hand-held recorder. On each recorded layer the sounds of wind, rustling leaves and other natural reverberations can be heard in the background. By emphasising and celebrating these imperfections, the idea of silence in a world where high noise levels are the norm is explored. The result is a set of songs that, whilst each telling their own story, are unified in a melancholic lament for the sounds that have been lost in the constant noise.”

Migration is a lovely sounding track and although Adams’ vocals don’t really do it for me here, when he goes for those falsettos, they keep the songs balance. It’s here that we also get our first taste of the imperfect recording, and this does sound rather pretentious, but I understand what he’s doing with it. The utilisation of these field recordings reminds me very much of Polaroid Piano by Akira Kosemura (another artist that makes the best of these simple recording sounds and ambiances).

The piano during In The Constant Noise, is incredibly beautiful; both hands do a tremendous job of creating a truly wonderful piano tune. The way the ambiance works its way into the cracks of the piano is also really great, it very much sounds like one of the albums centre pieces.

That being said, the track that Adams roles out after, From a Great Height, is very minimal and vulnerable little piece. It starts with his soft vocals carrying you through the sparsely populated sheet of music, only accompanied by some gentle electronic keys. It basically comes up as the track that shows you what this album is all about; Adams’ talent with minimal instrumentation and the ability to surprise you with striking movements that can come and go.

A Breath, is every bit as subtle as it sounds. The tiny little layers that spread beneath the piano are sublime and really do add another level of interest to the piece. Once again, it feels like Adams is showcasing what makes him such an interesting composer, especially for smaller projects like The Knife That Killed Me.

Closer, The End, switches up gears and uses the guitar again against a light wall of synthesisers. Adams also includes a short little collection of lyrics that sit nicely over the top of the guitar and close the album nicely, if a bit drearily; ‘I thought I heard you laughing…’.

In The Constant Noise, is an album full of lush and immediate sounds that trickle away all too quickly, but don’t overstay a welcome. They politely leave and text you to say they had a pleasant time. A pleasure to relax to.

If you liked what you heard, you can download the album from Adams’ Bandcamp, it’s also a name your price album, but behave yourselves and be nice.

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