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Adult Jazz

So Sorry So Slow

    London-based four-piece Adult Jazz announce their first full-length album in a decade, So Sorry So Slow, out 26 April 2024 via Spare Thought. Alongside the announcement comes lovesick new single ‘Suffer One’ featuring Owen Pallett, a cautious excavation of self and sexuality, clambering across a gorgeously shapeshifting, filmic five-minutes.

    Containing some of the band’s most abrasive but gentle, beautiful and melismatic work to date, So Sorry So Slow has many defining characteristics: romance, panic, devotion and remorse, threaded together by an intentionally laser-focused love. It’s deeply personal, bruised and candid in its expressions of tenderness, and deeply pained in its concurrent reflections of ecological regret. Across its hour-long runtime, a delicate, frenetic energy and glacial heaviness coexist, the band pitting those paces against one another. In their richly experimental timbre, dancing strings and fluttering falsettos prang against a bed of brass drones like a wounded bird.

    “We started writing in 2017 and began recording in 2018,” says vocalist Harry Burgess. “We genuinely thought it might be finished in 2018! But things kept developing and, having resolutely not struck while the iron was hot, there was no real external push to rush things after that, so we just kept letting things shift and unfold until it felt right. Listening back to my voice notes it’s nice to notice that there are fragments of ideas from the whole period 2017-2023 which have shaped the record.”

    Recorded in bursts at studios across London and in the band members’ flats, at Konk, on the Isle of Wight and in Sussex, So Sorry is unambiguous in its evolution. Sonically, there are sparks of the arrhythmic brightness that afforded the band’s critically acclaimed debut album Gist Is its cult adoration, for fans of Arthur Russell and Meredith Monk, but with a blossoming, melancholic darkness often overhead. Piano sprees and luscious string sections appear like low-hanging stars on a night-time drive, whilst plunging vocal distortions and humming brass loops resurrect heavy limbs in a bad dream.

    “I usually have objects as kind of totems for ideas,” explains Burgess. “The album initially started out to do with performance… [the totem] was a head mic, one of the subtle skin-tone ones, discreet on the forehead of a West End star. A number of the first songs in their original forms were almost musical theatre piano ballads. I think that was really a device to write about my life as the ‘main character’ (pre internet-speak reframing): regrets about romance, relationships - unsustainable relationships with the self and others.”

    “However, once we started writing, the ideas about unsustainable personal relationships, loving unevenly and heartbreak conflated with a more expressly ecological regret. Like contending with big feelings of loss, endings, beauty, desolation, and with how much joy the earth contains in it. Feeling so much gratitude bound up in waves of sadness. Maybe witnessing a slow-motion goodbye to all that, or its last gasps. I love the earth and the life it supports so much. I love how ecosystems fit together - even the brutal stuff. It may be basic to say, but now is the time to be laser focused on that love. I was thinking about human centrality on earth, us as the ‘main character’, the way that is served by faith and romanticism, and the subsequent disingenuous understandings of our position in the ecosystem, as only stewards somehow, rather than subjects. The totems at this point: a herald’s horn, lorry inner tubes, archaeological tools. I guess from doom, industry, history respectively.”

    “Now I would say the record is about gripping. Totems being: crampons, rope, drips, desalination equipment, accruing various survival tech. I think gripping sums up both of the threads. There’s the emotionally correct clinging to the earth that is the substrate of everything we value, or the delusional clinging to our imagined dominant position. But also the practical, technological aspects of creating a sustainable relationship, of remaining here. Then I think of romance again.”

    So Sorry So Slow comes out 26th April 2024 on Spare Thought, mixed by Fabian Prynn at 4AD Studios and mastered by Alex Wharton at Abbey Road.

    Adult Jazz is Harry Burgess, Tim Slater, Steven Wells and Tom Howe.


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: It always surprises me when a band can inoffensively arrhythmically skip between themes and motifs in their music, because It never strikes me as something that should be doable without a noticeable thematic shift. There's something about the staggered determination and swaying dreamlike haze of Adult Jazz's music that has always been seamless and so organic, and remains in abundance here.

    TRACK LISTING

    Side A
    Bleat Melisma
    Suffer One
    Y-rod

    Side B
    No Relief
    Plenary
    Marquee

    Side C
    Dusk Song
    Earth Of Worms
    No Sentry

    Side D
    Bend
    I Was Surprised
    Windfarm

    Adult Jazz

    Gist Is

      Following a flurry of critical acclaim for their debut single ‘Springful / Am Gone in January, Adult Jazz have announced their anticipated debut album Gist Is via their own label Spare Thought.

      A single-note drone fills the air, joined by a lilting, pitch-shifted vocal. The mercurial melody falls between folk, plainsong, pop and jazz, the words trigger equally beguiling images and the voice has an uninhibited, freestyle timbre. At seven minutes and twenty nine seconds, ‘Hum’ is as audacious as it is a brilliant introduction to a record. Through nine tracks and 51 minutes, their debut album Gist Is, released on the band’s own label Spare Thought, is a voyage that’s startling, mesmerising and magical from start to finish.

      Gist Is also evolved intuitively, taking four years to finish. Studies (and more recently, day jobs) had to be factored in, but the dominant factor was having the freedom, “to write and to realise a direction as we went along. There was no prescribed path for the album, so we could take an internalised approach.”

      "Their signature sound comes in the form of frazzled melodies, punctuated by the most joyously uninhibited vocals. ‘Springful/Am Gone’ encompasses all we love about the whirling, anti-pop throws of Wild Beasts” NME

      “Few debut tracks offer as many mindblowing oddities as Leeds band Adult Jazz’s first effort . . . it weaves and turns in mysterious ways, but always ends up at a gorgeous, inclusive endpoint” DIY

      “Guitar jabs, indie pop melodies, experimental subtle electronics in the back, layered over with a sweet, indie rock vibe and fitting vocals, ‘Springful’ is absolutely gorgeous and unique” Disco Naïveté

      “Adult Jazz have shown that they can create such intelligent, alternative-pop that it demands re-listen, upon re-listen, upon re-listen” The Line Of Best Fit

      “Adult Jazz are making some pretty amazing music.” AltSounds

      “A beguiling beauty . . . feels committed to its own sparseness, experimentally building each counterintuitively catchy groove from as few sonic elements as possible” THE FADER

      “Quirky and disjointed, yet somehow gliding gracefully through the air . . . this is a hell of a song, understated and powerful” Stereogum



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