Track by track /// Adam Scott Glasspool ‘On Dreams’ [EP] 2015

(с) James Quinn

(с) James Quinn

Beautiful, slow, guitar-driven tunes with an air of sadness about them are the embodiment of Adam Scott Glasspool’s signature sound. Having embarked on a solo career after years in bands, Adam released his debut EP ‘On Dreams’ on July 13. A four-track affair is fragile, finely crafted and sets the mood to reflective from the very first notes: it’s a great EP to think to at dawn while sipping a glass of something. Here’s what Adam himself has to say about all the tracks.

Nightingale

‘Nightingale’ was always going to open the EP. It’s a bit of a pattern with me, but whatever project I’m working on, the first track that gets really nailed in the studio is always the opener. ‘Nightingale’ was the first one I felt like I got right and set me on the path that the rest of the EP would follow. I didn’t actually know what my solo recordings were going to be when I wrote the song. I wrote a very upbeat, faster version with electronic drums, bass and a synth line. It sounded a bit like Future Islands or something. Then I had been listening to Sun Kil Moon’s Benji quite a bit and wondered what would happen if I took the song out the umm… ‘mode’ that I had written it in. All those cascading guitars you can hear, that’s from that. Then I couldn’t decide between the two versions so I put them both up on my Soundcloud and invited people to listen to them and vote on which one they thought was better. Or suited me more I guess. The version that’s on the EP won with like, 99% of the vote. I’d been listening to a lot of Kanye West at the time too, so fuck knows what would’ve happened if I’d attempted a hip-hop version of it. Probably nothing good.

Seattleite

So once I’d figured out I was doing this layers of acoustic guitar type thing I started messing around with tunings, recording something, then tuning back to standard, working out the chords and playing them over them. This one is in some derivation of Open-C I think. I wrote a lot of riffs and picking patterns in that tuning but this ended up being the only one I used. Actually I don’t think that it is Open-C. I think it’s the same tuning that Justin Vernon uses for ‘Skinny Love’. Beautiful tuning. No idea what it is though, sorry. When I do live shows it’s just me and I loop all the parts. I didn’t want to break the flow of shows by tuning after recording one sequence, so I cheekily pre-recorded that particular pattern for live shows. That’s why I don’t know what it is. I don’t tune to it anymore. I’m not really sure where the lyrics came from for this song. There’s a couple of real life experiences in there, but the majority of them are improvised, as they are on the whole EP, actually. I have a weird way of writing lyrics, actually.

It Was Always Too Late

This one is a good example of how I write lyrics. For every project I undertake I start a new notebook that I carry with me most places and I’ll just start writing. Talking about my day, talking about my thoughts, writing down little phrases or words or even just little reminders to myself. When I come back to write again I’ll usually read what I’ve written and repeat the phrases that I like. If you looked at every page you’d probably see the phrase ‘I’m aware of the irony as it slips away from me’ in some form or guise about 20 times. Then these get lodged in my head. Whilst I’m writing music I’ll create melodies by mumbling words and humming bits and pieces and it’s usually from the phrases in my notebook or from other places that have lodged in my brain. But when I’ve written the music and cut everything up and sit down to record my vocals, I usually don’t know what I’m going to sing. I find the stuff that comes out is more honest if it hasn’t been over thought. There are artists who consider every word that’s on a song, which is great, but I can’t do that. Nothing would ever pass the filter, if you see what I mean. The lyrics ‘it was always too late’ comes from a weird place thought. Put it into Google image search and look for the image of Putin. It’s that. Not sure how that got in there.

Undertow

The demo for this one was all improvised in one take. Not sure where any of the words came from but they were just there in my head when I sat down with the guitar. Then I re-recorded everything. Fucked up some of the chords on the second guitar part but I left it in because it gave it a really woozy feel that I liked. Was always the last track, in my head. It feels like the song is always drifting away but in a warm kind of way. I know that doesn’t make a lot of sense. This is my favourite by far. It’s the simplest and most… pure, I think. I don’t fuck about with it live either, just me and the guitar. No loops or anything. I’m currently recording my first album for this project and I’m looking to this song as the blueprint for it. Simplicity. Or I’ll do that hip-hop thing I was talking about.

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