INTERVIEW: A Man Called Adam | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Returning with their first album in four years, it’s worth noting that the new record by electronica duo A Man Called Adam is more than just a return to the studio; it’s a return to where it all began – Teesside. The duo have enjoyed a stellar career in the electronic music scene since the late 80’s, and enjoyed a resurgence in 2019 with their acclaimed album Farmarama, featuring on massive festival bills and dancefloor classic collections alike.

Their new album, The Girl With A Hole In Her Heart, is a dreamy love letter which channels memories of Teesside across a number of warm, varied, dancefloor moods; celebrating the spirit of the North whilst highlighting the struggles of regeneration and underfunding. 

Making this album was a really interesting process,” confirms co-founder Sally Rodgers, “I grew up in Teesside, and relocated back here during the pandemic, so for me this was a chance to reflect on the importance of the region and its history.” 

Started remotely, the album came together gradually and through a therapeutic process. “I was based in Paris at various stages of lockdown,” confirms co-founder Steve Jones, “and leaving the house was incredibly restricted. When I was able to leave I began creating small patterns on a friend’s piano which gradually built into loops and ideas I sent to Sally. We started working on those ideas together more as a way of keeping in contact during a difficult time than with a particular album in mind.” 

The more we worked on the record, and the more dancey it became, the more we wanted it to remain focused on Teesside

Providing narratives to the compositional ideas, Rodgers began to find patterns in her work. “At the start the ideas had quite a melancholic, introverted, feel to them and I think that helped me to unlock some of the memories and feelings I had about growing up in Teesside, and about my love for the region and its people.” 

Developed over time, the album moved from its original, emotive piano form into a Balearic dance-sounding dance record; though the themes remained the same. “The more we worked on the record, and the more dancey it became, the more we wanted it to remain focused on Teesside.” confirms Rodgers. 

As it’s so rooted in the North, the duo were keen to manage their project with as much North Eastern culture and support as possible. “We’ve started to work with local organisations and artists who have helped in a number of ways, like supporting the design of the cover art, and working on some really cool vinyl for the launch. We really want to contribute and support the local North Eastern arts community and with so much great work happening we all have a part to play.” 

A summer production about Teesside entitled PEOPLE POWERED: Stories from The River Tees, which sees the duo collaborate with MIMA and The National Portrait Gallery, provides even deeper links for A Man Called Adam to build more work focused on the region and its history. With a new album and new projects on the horizon, there’s so much for the duo to look forward to, including the works of other artists. “We’re excited for the record, and for the production, but we’re even more excited by the art and artists we’re seeing and meeting from the region. We try to be optimistic and there’s a lot to look forward to.”

A Man Called Adam release The Girl With A Hole In Her Heart on 26th May.

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