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On Melodic Electronic, Jamie Adam constructs an addictive sound. A subtle, minimalist approach impacted by collages of synthwave, collected in psychedelic ambience. Often, adventures such as this are lacking in modern music. Thankfully, Melodic Electronic embraces an adventurous spirit. Heavy guitar cranks galvanise all the electronic sounds, never dominating proceedings but organically fusing in the hands of this newcomer and multi-instrumentalist.
As debuts go, Melodic Electronic is interesting and refreshing. This young Meath man has taken his influences – Tame Impala, MGMT – and thrown the best parts of them into a melting pot. From that he’s forged a stylistically varied record. While the music never strays far from its influences, the idea of combining so many forms makes for an original concept. Melodic Electronic shifts effortlessly across a diverse landscape. Not hinged entirely on heavy keyboards, there is a steady injection of guitars, keeping a flow between styles across the ten tracks.
The glorious, funk-laden ‘Nocturnal’, opens proceedings with some nice guitar lines, before flourishes of electronic drones enter the arrangement. This is Adam’s self-reflective track, one which flaunts his strengths. Following is a full nosedive into synth and techno waters with ‘Last Ones Down’. There is an air of Soft Cell within the mix, though updated for the present day. ‘Last Ones Down’ is where the voice of Jamie Adam becomes more interesting, more suited to the surroundings.
There is a twist in ‘Homeopathy’, a guitar-riff straight out of the sixties, matched by fuzzy beats and phased vocals. The pace is slow, but very in-your-face with blended instruments and a melodic guitar solo midway through. ‘The Power’ is, again, a beat-heavy slice of goodness, swaying with a stripped back, simple sound – krautrock with a nineties delivery.
‘Cool Blood’ is a transcendent pop tune, with interruptions from some classy psychedelic noise and a wild guitar. This is, perhaps, the standout of the set and certainly the most far-reaching on the experimental side. A clever moment with distorted guitar rising from a submerged state is genius. Though it fires with some addictive beats towards the end, it never reaches breakneck speed, and gently closes with the sound of waves.
Things speed up on ‘Your Decision’, with hammering beats ticking away and everything else in the background. The phased vocals work extremely well, giving drama and an added intensity to the track. ‘Perfect Harmony’ is exactly what it says it is, thematically focused on relationships. The harmonious sound of the keyboard hook is straight out of the eighties, an overtly commercial moment on Melodic Electronic. The album closes with ‘Design It’, where a sampled voice gives direction before the vocals and ambience drift in. Not the strongest track, but it holds a unique quality, closing the album on an interesting note.
Jamie Adam is clearly talented. This is obvious in his balancing act between electronic, psychedelic, shoegaze and, at times, guitar heavy elements. This bold juggling act could backfire into a haze of confused noise, but it’s precisely executed on Melodic Electronic. Jamie Adam’s next offering will be interesting, he has definitely come out of the starting blocks with a very strong debut.