MySpace is an even more brutal world than mp3 blogs. Out of about twenty friend requests from bands that I went through yesterday, just the one grabbed my attention. From a record label rather than an artist, for a start, which is slightly more unusual, and obviously signifies that the guy actually has a deal and isn't just some two bit, poorly bedroom-recorded Libertines sound-alike or grunge survivor. In fact, Grand Harmonium Records are a fairly tiny Edinburgh-based label, and it seems that the main thrust of their promotion at the moment seems to be behind one Steve Adey, Birmingham born and raised. With just cause, it seems, as Mr Adey seems like an extremely talented individual.
The most apt comparison that has been quoted is Will Oldham, which is really spot on. I don't think Adey's world view is quite as bleak as Mr Prince Billy, but the richness of vocal tone, and the hushed reverence of the songs is definitely on the same level - Adey even covers Oldham's signature tune (see below), taking an orchestral approach which sounds really nice.
The other point of reference, for me at least, would be Richard Thompson, with a voice that touches Americana but is still distinctly English. What I'm trying to say, in irritating journo-comparison style, is that he's got a really good voice, and some really good songs. I heartily commend him to your listening apparatus.
Steve Adey - Find The Way
Steve Adey - Find The Way (acoustic)
Steve Adey - Evening Of The Day
Steve Adey - I See A Darkness (Bonnie 'Prince' Billy cover - sample)
Steve Adey - Shelter From The Storm (Bob Dylan cover - sample)
Tags: Steve Adey; Grand Harmonium; Will Oldham; Bonnie 'Prince' Billy; Bob Dylan; Richard Thompson; MySpace