Adem - Love and Other Planets (Domino)
It's a rare and unique occurence when I feel genuinely safe with a record, though that was the case with Adem Ilhan's 2004 release Homesongs. The album was a sprawling opus, malleable in form and texture, gentle and bewildering without sacrificing power. I listened to "Gone Away" so much that the words started blurring together and meaning nothing. It was the sound I desired, the cooing of the melodica, the aura of safety.
Two years later, not much has changed. A step farther from his experimentalist role in Fridge, Love and Other Planets shows Adem working with a full-time percussionist -- adding a depth that Homesongs never truly achieved. But Adem never lets percussion overshadow the brilliant songwriting. "Launch Yourself" buzzes into a frenzy of handclaps and delicate harmonies before a driving 4/4 beat even enters. "Spirals", on the other hand, is classic Adem territory...just him and an acoustic guitar, gently picked arpeggios, singin' about love...ah. I don't think I breathed once through the whole song.
Love and Other Planets was released on April 24th in the UK, but a stateside release date has yet to be announced or planned. In fact, Adem's name is no longer on Domino's US roster (did they drop him?). But, hey, if you're willing to spend high import costs to hear one of the best albums of the year, more power to you.
Am I always going to brag about how I played tambourine for him at the Avalon? Until the day I die.
Adem - "Warning Call"
Adem - "You and Moon"
Adem - "Launch Yourself"