Posts Tagged ‘Pearls To Swine’

I would follow Adam Torres’ voice to the ends of the earth I am so looking forward to seeing him at some UK festivals this summer. There is a magical, slinking, serpentine quality to his falsetto vocal and the interplay between it and his music that, as a listener, I’m trying to figure out why it is so utterly affecting. After years without a proper full length album release, Torres released “Pearls to Swine” last year, a proper follow-up album that makes good on the promise he exhibited on the 2006 indie cult classic Nostra Nova. On “Pearls” and this year’s EP I Came to Sing the Song, that songwriting spellwork is as potent and refined as ever, in a quietly rousing way like the warm, bright morning light on the sleepy world.

Torres sang three of his recent songs for us at the WXPN Studio and, stripped of auxiliary instrumentation and band members, the performance was just as affecting.

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It’s no surprise that there were a few songs that didn’t quite make it on to Adam Torres’wonderful 2016 LP, “Pearls To Swine”, given that the whole record feels like the most fragile of creations, where adding or removing one single piece could lead the whole thing to crumbling. Lucky then, that Torres is also releasing an accompanying EP,I Came To Sing The Song”, which collates some of those very tracks. Following on from the striking title-track, Adam has unveiled another of track from it, in the form of the wholesome and rugged “Hatchet” . “For me, Hatchet is a song about healing from seemingly irreconcilable conflicts,” Torres says of the track. “And what else is a conflict besides the lack of understanding between two people or maybe two groups of people?”

Stoking such fiery sentiments, this push-and-pull is evident throughout the track, as soon as those drums kick-in and lead the whole thing down a wildly romantic path. Torres’ songs positively gleams with rustic romanticism, his lilting vocal beautiful and pure in one moment and then sun-burned and sand-scorched the next. The same is true on “Hatchet”, and though it only last for three-and-a-half minutes it seems to tell a story that was formed many a year before and will live for long after he departs from it.

While Torres’ voice often steals the show, the musicianship here makes for a sublime addition; the rolling, weather-like drums of Rodolfo Villarreal III, the sturdy bass of Dailey Toliver and the stirring strings of Aisha Burns which adds beautiful textures to the already-stirring backdrop. And that’s before we even mention the additional “vibes” from Thor Harris.

Wild of heart and soft in tongue, it’s another beautiful cut from Torres’, a reminder that there’s still plenty of space for such things in this largely shadowed world. Check it out below.

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Adam Torres - I Came To Sing The Song

With last year’s album “Pearls To Swine”, singer-songwriter Adam Torres released a stunning collection of song Torres found an exponentially larger audience than ever before, and for good reason. It was his first album in 10 years and his first for Fat Possum Records, a deal that materialized after his cult favorite 2006 debut Nostra Nova was reissued by Misra Records. Torres, who is a gifted songwriter with a supernatural evocative falsetto vocal, Torres spent the time between albums in Austin honing his craft, developing an aesthetic as all-consuming as a gorgeously shot Western, his voice beaming brightly across a fiery barren landscape. The album realized all the stunning potential that had been hidden away for a decade.

Torres is back next month with I Came To Sing The Song, an EP of four songs recorded during the Pearls To Swine sessions. Or as Torres put it via email, “The idea behind the song and EP is finding purpose in one’s work, and having to adjust to the lightness and darkness of that search.” The title track is a gentle ballad featuring Torres’ peerless vocals backed by guitar and violin. Upon pressing play, your heart will be stirred.

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It took Adam Torres 10 years to release his second album. His life took a non-musical turn when he moved from Athens, Ohio, to Austin, Texas, with South America somewhere along the way. This album was the antiserum to all the overused and over-abundant vocal processing I heard in 2016. Adam Torres high and lonesome voice is pure, relatable and visceral. The songs are weightless with an underpinning of violin and simple, tasteful keyboards and percussion. I tend to need, then find, one good quiet record each year. Pearls To Swine was my go-to serene album for 2016.

Adam Torres voice makes Pearls To Swine a constant listen for me. It’s high and lonesome, but more frail than the voices of the bluegrass pioneers who defined that style . Besides, Torres isn’t a country singer or a folksinger but more of an atmospheric storyteller.

It took the musician, now based in Austin just a week to record Pearls To Swine, though the album was nearly 10 years in the making. In 2006, Torres was 20 and living in Athens, Ohio, when he put out a debut record called Nostra Nova, which is worthy of cult status. Then his life took a non-musical course.

I first heard his music far more recently, Thor Harris of Swans raved about this new singer he was touring with, and then I heard Pearls To Swine and flipped. I’ve been writing and telling my gigging friends about Adam Torres a whole lot this year, and the more I listen, the more I want to share it.

Listen in particular to the way Torres and Aisha Burns weave his voice and her violin together. It’s rare and beautiful. Then there’s the delicate percussion and bass that keep it all in motion. In addition to songs from his current record, we also get to hear an unreleased track, appropriately titled “I Came To Sing The Song.” I’m thrilled he did.

Set List

  • “High Lonesome”
  • “Outlands”
  • “I Came To Sing The Song”

Musicians

Adam Torres (vocals, guitar); Aisha Burns (violin); Thor Harris (percussion); Dailey Toliver (bass, keys)

It’s been a decade since Adam Torres released his debut album, Nostra Nova, which was reissued to great acclaim in 2015. Recently signed to Fat Possum Records, the AustinTexas dwelling songwriter known for poetic lyrics and beautiful melodies just released a new album, Pearls to Swine. It’s very exciting to see a renewal of the traditional singer-songwriter movement. Adam Torres is just one of many Americana/roots solo musicians who have popped up over the past few years, having released his debut album in 2006 when he was just 20 years old. Pearls To Swine, is a sizzler of a record, one which I hope will likely catapult Adam Torres into a much greater spotlight. Torres’ Fat Possum debut is full of natural soundscapes and elaborate imagery that brilliantly twinkles throughout this piece of art.

From the upcoming album, Pearls To Swine, out September 9th via Fat Possum Records

Austin folk singer/songwriter Adam Torres debuts the beautifully surreal video for “Some Beast Will Find You By Name“, a foreboding, achingly melancholy ballad taken from his new LP Pearls To Swine, out now on Fat Possum. Watch the haunting, fever-dreamlike visuals,

A decade ago, Adam Torres was 22 years old, living in Athens, Ohio, and balancing college with musical aspirations. He had released a solo album in 2006, but he was spending substantial time as a member in a modestly successful folk rock band. Working toward someone else’s creative vision in a town with little music industry left him “disillusioned” and “disappointed with indie music.” 

Fast-forward to 2011. Now living in Austin and pursuing graduate degrees in Latin American studies and public policy at UT, Torres attended a house concert and started feeling the allure of being a part of a local music community again. Although he had quit performing by then, he never stopped practicing and writing music. “For a while it became a private thing,” he says. 

Instead of being disillusioned, Torres was inspired to finish a set of songs that stemmed from his travels in Ecuador, where he had studied abroad in 2009. After assembling a stellar backup band that included former Shearwater member Thor Harris,  Matthew Shepherd (Dana Falconberry) and Aisha Burns (Balmorhea), he recorded an album. The result, Pearls to Swine, comes out September. 9th. 

The collection of contemplative, transfixing folk songs hinges on restrained percussion, gorgeous strings by Burns and the singer-songwriter’s voice, a wavering, gentle falsetto that he employs as effectively as any instrument. It’s in his voice that Torres’ Native American influences emerge. Born in Albuquerque to a mother raised on a Cochiti Pueblo reservation and a father from a Mexican-American family that claims Apache chief Geronimo as a distant relative, Torres also has been given the name See-Ru, which means “bluebird” in the Cochiti Pueblo Keresan language.

“Art is the most direct means of reminding anyone what it means to be human,” says Torres, adding that his album captures the “beautiful possibilities” and “ugly truth” of life. After many migrations, maybe the place Torres has been trying to reach isn’t a place at all. Maybe this is his most important destination yet.

Taken from “Pearls to Swine”, out now on Fat Possum Records

When I first heard the pure voice of Adam Torres, it felt fortifying. Torres’ album “Pearls To Swine” connected me with the human voice in ways that feel intimate instead of filtered or distant.

Torres is an Austin musician whose nine most recent songs were all recorded direct to tape in about a week — but it took a decade to get here. In 2006, he was 20 and living in Athens, Ohio, when he put out a debut called Rostra Nova. To the few who know it, it’s achieved a sort of cult status. Then Torres‘ life took a non-musical course, including volunteer work in South America, then graduate school in Austin, and then a job working on water quality in the Rio Grande River for the state of Texas. He kept writing, but other than a limited-edition cassette in 2012, none of his work had surfaced until now.

The songs on Pearls To Swine are often about landscapes, both physical and emotional. “Juniper Arms,” the song that hooked me on Torres‘ music, is a song about his birthplace of Albuquerque, N.M.
His collaborators on these songs include Thor Harris, a percussionist and instrument-maker from Swans and Shearwater. The gorgeous violin underpinning Adams‘ voice, played by Aisha Burns, is particularly striking in “Outlands.”

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We reside in a musical landscape where technology, songwriting and performance are all intertwined. These are creative and sometimes powerful musical times. But Pearls To Swine hearkens back to when songwriting and singing more often leapt from pen and guitar straight to the heart; from Simon & Garfunkel to Sandy Denny, Jeff Buckley to Judee Sill, Nick Drake to Joan Baez.

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In 2006, the then 20-year-old Adam Torres released his idiosyncratic, varied, and beautiful debut album, Nostra Nova. A DIY self-release, the album became a closely-held, sleeper favorite in the close-knit music scene of Athens, OH and over the years grew to a ‘cult classic’-like status. The album has a song on it called Breakneck Jane’s Fifteen Minute Escape, which is one of our favourite ever tracks,

So ten years on from his debut, it is a cause of much excitement to learn that Adam Torres will release his second album “Pearls To Swine” on September 9th, 2016 via Fat Possum Records

The first track from it is High Lonesome, a gorgeously vulnerable and fragile slice of folkish Americana that does more than a good job of whetting the appetite for the full album.

From the upcoming album, “Pearls To Swine”, out 9/9 on Fat Possum Records.

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