Adam Camm is one half of the London-based duo Halloween Jack with several Bandcamp releases and live performances to their name. This year Camm decided to try something different, leading to his first solo EP titled Echo Chamber, which is available on CD, cassette, vinyl and by download. Camm wrote, recorded and produced everything by himself, playing guitars, pianos and even mellotron for a ’60s feel. His songs blend “cinematic style with elements of Gainsbourg and Barry; with hints of Motown and ’60s pop with modern day indie sensibilities.” Camm recorded at High Cat Studios in Cologne, Germany with the help of Florian Bechte using Pro Tools. In fact, the download version was remastered from a vinyl record to retain that warm analogue sound.
Thematically, Camm says this is not strictly a concept EP, though he wrote everything within the space of a month. However, “lyrically the four songs exude an edge, a common strand of isolation, possibly born from the lockdown in which it was written and recorded.”
“The Girl Next Door Will Sing Alone Tonight” certainly jumps right into the feelings of isolation, specifically about a female neighbor on whose head “rests a veil, a crown of thorns dressed in black.” For me the structure of this song starts out like moody prog, then kicks into retro psychedelia for the choruses. There’s a lot going on here instrumentally and Camm has managed a pretty decent mix. His voice is in a higher range and maybe not what you’d expect for popular music nowadays, but would have felt totally at home in the ’80s.
“Waiting In The Wings” thematically and musically feels very much like a continuation of the first song. Again, Camm’s ability to create a mood of gorgeous dread is quite special, especially with his multiple vocal overdubs. There’s a lot of reverb here but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Bring In The Clown” (love the title’s riff on “Send In The Clowns”) is apparently the big single here, as Camm has created a simple but fun video where he channels Heath Ledger as the Joker. This song really has all of Camm’s ducks in a row, in that its got that retro feel but sounds quite of the moment with a tasty arrangement and killer mix. If I weren’t typing, I’d be dancing right along with him! The EP concludes with “Echo Chamber” which has a slightly ragged garage band feel; sort of ’60s psychedelia as seen through modern indie ears. If I’d heard this track on its own, I’d have been sure it was a total bedroom production.
These four songs were fun to listen to and all show off Camm’s strong musical and songwriting abilities. I’d love to see him continue in the solo lane for a longer, future release.
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