A friend of mine on Facebook had an upcoming gig, and mentioned the other bands attending. That's how I came across the music of Message To Bears. Later, browsing Message To Bears' Facebook page showed me a similar list that they had provided, with some bands they'd been sharing the stage with. That's how I discovered the song by ToLiesel. And then, recently, the guitar player from both those groups followed me on Twitter. Viewing his profile, I saw that he had his own solo material...
And that's how I found Perfect Fiction - the music of Adam Harvey James.
It's rare for me to explore the details of my (currently very few) Twitter followers, mostly because there tends to be a lot of accounts that come and go which mainly exist for the purposes of spam. However, on this occasion I did take a look. And I'm glad I did.
Adam's music stands defiantly, and happily, within some classic genre labels: raw, stripped-back, and acoustic. In the same way that so many have done before him, the songs consist of just him and his guitar, but there's no shame in following the mould set by his influences (Neil Young, Jose Gonzalez) if the final result is worthwhile. And when it comes to this particular song, "Another One", I feel it is.
As the first track of his debut EP 'The Sound Of People', "Another One" is a wonderful start and also my personal favourite. Later songs explore Adam's lower register, or cover potentially more sombre themes, but this song is far stronger musically, lyrically and - crucially - vocally. Adam's key talent clearly lies in his strumming and plucking; a skill that is wonderfully showcased during the lyric-less guitar portion of this song. His singing style throughout the record is appropriately rough and untouched but, in this particular song, it deals out the words with a glorious aptitude that outshines the others on the EP.
Whether he focuses on his own work or chooses to concentrate on the bands he is involved with, Adam James is proving that he has a lot to offer.
"Life is like a piano: what you get out of it depends on how you play it" - Tom Lehrer