Not too long ago, UK singer/songwriter Adam Camm stunned us all with his debut EP, Echo Chamber. Now, he’s about to surprise us yet again with Mirror, Mirror, his first full-length. Camm, who plays all instruments, blends old-school psychedelia with indie and Brit-pop sensibilities. To achieve his sound, he uses a mixture of analog and digital methods.
“Mirror, Mirror was mixed and co-produced by Steve Cornell and mastered by Ben Pike of Rare Tone Mastering.” It has been compared to artists ranging from Syd Barrett (Pink Floyd), The Beatles and The Rolling Stones to Tom Verlaine (Television) and The Brian Jonestown Massacre. Given these comparisons, I got very excited about listening to this album.
Our first taste of retro-psychedelic rock happens with “Feel the Fuzz.” I feel like that sticky hook, “Feel the fuzz feeding off the buzz,” will really get peoples’ attention along with all the overdriven guitar distortion. Camm’s vocals drenched in layers of modulation are not unlike something I’ve heard in a Primal Scream song before, whereas the repeating organ riff reaches The Doors-levels of catchiness.
The funky Prince-like guitar riff found in “Feel It” is another highlight. The song talks about pressure with vulnerable lines such as “More and more’s getting put on me.” “Wonder in the Morning After” is slightly longer than the average track on this LP, and I can definitely tell that Camm is leaning into his British Invasion trad rock side a lot with this.
Camm outdoes himself yet again with the half-theatrical, half-psychedelic title track “Mirror, Mirror.” I don’t think I’ve ever heard tambourine this irresistible since “Ticket to Ride.” The fuzzy guitars and vintage bass tones contrast quite a bit with the keyboards, but the abrupt transition between sections is worth hearing.
The album takes a slight post-punk detour with “Skeletons in the Shelves,” which is darker and minor-key. Perhaps this is where the Television influence is most noticeable. Skipping forward a bit, we get the upbeat guitar jingle-jangle of “Guardian Angel.” I detected quite a large Stones influence from this superb track, most prominently from the vocals.
“Please Sincerely Mr. Jones” sounds very much like Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Camm’s kazoo part alone is enough to make this song great. The album closes with the lyrical tearjerker, “Abandoned.” Out of all ten songs on Mirror, Mirror, “Abandoned” feels the most naked, at least lyrically. Its composition is much warmer than the words might suggest, though it’s still trippy and psychedelic, like floating down a lazy river.
Adam Camm’s latest album is very well-executed. I especially admire how timeless all of it feels despite being so deeply entrenched in the sounds of the ‘60s and ‘70s. This will really resonate with listeners, so I strongly recommend it, and I can’t wait to hear what Camm does with his unique sound next.
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