Friday, July 13, 2012

Artist's Cookbook: Summertime Salad Rolls by Adam Hill

Adam Hill is an independent folk roots artist from Vancouver who is releasing a new album this summer Two Hands, Tulips. In his own words (20 or less) Adam says Two Hands, Tulips is “newtimey folk music that combines elements of traditional roots with contemporary electronics and found sounds with surefire songwriting.”

While the album is best listened to as a whole, I found myself gravitating away from the rootsy tracks (such as “He Calls That Religion” or “Train That Carried”). My interest was the pop side of things. “These Vignettes” has an almost religious like quality to it. It includes a hymnal type chorus evoking religious imagery when it talks about “walking towards the cross” which the characters fail to arrive at. There is a pop laden pre-chorus and folky verses with lots of food and summer images. The track is subtle, it took a number of listens before I realized how good it was.

Even harder to get into at first was “French Films” which starts with sounds of a film strip running between metal canisters. The music begins and it immediately makes you think of the dark moment in a film when the bad guy hits the screen. This seems almost at odds with the words which are giving reference to different types of flowers. Eventually the two move towards each other as the music brightens and the lyrics darken. “French Films” is the story of missing someone so much
that you aren’t able to sleep or take pleasure in the simple things that you used to. It is when you can’t sleep, when owls are your only friends and French Films litter your television screen. It is where pop music and heartbreak share the same pulse.

Since Two Hands, Tulips is a summer release and the heat so far this summer has been record breaking, Adam decided to pair his album with a cold supper. He realizes the paradox in a white guy born in Ohio making salad rolls but he attributes that to the paradox that is also present in his music. Get the exact recipe, the first one Adam has actually written out in his entire life, here. To be especially paradoxical, serve it with a healthy amount of bourbon.