News, Reviews

Adult Jazz Announce New Album “So Sorry So Slow” due April 26th via Spare Thought & Share New Single “Suffer One” + Announce More UK Tour Dates

March 8, 2024
Credit Tash Cutts & Samuel Travis

ADULT JAZZ

Announce first new album in a decade with ‘So Sorry So Slow’ due April 26th via Spare Thought
Share new single “Suffer One”
UK tour dates this October

London-based four-piece Adult Jazz announce their first full-length album in a decade, So Sorry So Slow, out 26 April 2024 via Spare Thought. Alongside the announcement comes lovesick new single Suffer One” featuring a string arrangement by Owen Pallett, a cautious excavation of self and sexuality, clambering across a gorgeously shapeshifting, filmic five-minutes. The band are also set to play a run of UK shows this October with dates in Glasgow, Leeds and London.

On the new track, the band said “We recorded the cello and guitar together at Konk, with no-metronome, to get a loose shifting rhythm – then spent time adding splashes of other things in the studio. The final stage was Owen Pallett’s string arrangement, and viola + violin playing. We’ve been listening to Owen’s music since we were 15, and have always admired their songwriting so we were incredibly honoured they were up for it. The strings lent this final surge of energy that helped us feel it was done.”

“The song itself is about romance and seeking connection- and the sometimes terror baked into that. It was one of the earlier tracks the lyrics were completed on, and it ends with a bit of pathetic fallacy indulgence, which I think in hindsight teed up a lot of the conflation of the personal with the ecological in the rest of the record.”

The new single is a softer, intricate exploration. Still capturing the renowned Adult Jazz energy but creating this lush landscape filled with this bed of immense soaring strings courtesy of Pallett, percussive picks, plucked notes and minimalist tonalites before the intensity erupts, more sustained notes extend and the timbre fluctuates in the expressive notion. Adult Jazz has this effortless ability to lace complexity with connection, intoxicating rhythms with this unpredictable vocal voyage, their releases ooze such hooks. Another vision with the greatest attention to detail.

Containing some of the band’s most abrasive but gentle, beautiful and melismatic work to date, So Sorry So Slow has many defining characteristics: romance, panic, devotion and remorse, threaded together by an intentionally laser-focused love. It’s deeply personal, bruised and candid in its expressions of tenderness, and deeply pained in its concurrent reflections of ecological regret. Across its hour-long runtime, a delicate, frenetic energy and glacial heaviness coexist, the band pitting those paces against one another. In their richly experimental timbre, dancing strings and fluttering falsettos prang against a bed of brass drones like a wounded bird.
 
“We started writing in 2017 and began recording in 2018,”
 says vocalist Harry Burgess. “We genuinely thought it might be finished in 2018! But things kept developing and, having resolutely not struck while the iron was hot, there was no real external push to rush things after that, so we just kept letting things shift and unfold until it felt right. Listening back to my voice notes it’s nice to notice that there are fragments of ideas from the whole period 2017-2023 which have shaped the record.”

Recorded in bursts at studios across London and in the band members’ flats, at Konk, on the Isle of Wight and in Sussex, So Sorry is unambiguous in its evolution. Sonically, there are sparks of the arrhythmic brightness that afforded the band’s critically acclaimed debut album Gist Is its cult adoration, for fans of Arthur Russell and Meredith Monk, but with a blossoming, melancholic darkness often overhead. Piano sprees and luscious string sections appear like low-hanging stars on a night-time drive, whilst plunging vocal distortions and humming brass loops resurrect heavy limbs in a bad dream. 

“I usually have objects as kind of totems for ideas,” explains Burgess. “The album initially started out to do with performance… [the totem] was a head mic, one of the subtle skin-tone ones, discreet on the forehead of a West End star. A number of the first songs in their original forms were almost musical theatre piano ballads. I think that was really a device to write about my life as the ‘main character’ (pre internet-speak reframing): regrets about romance, relationships – unsustainable relationships with the self and others.”

“However, once we started writing, the ideas about unsustainable personal relationships, loving unevenly and heartbreak conflated with a more expressly ecological regret. Like contending with big feelings of loss, endings, beauty, desolation, and with how much joy the earth contains in it. Feeling so much gratitude bound up in waves of sadness. Maybe witnessing a slow-motion goodbye to all that, or its last gasps. I love the earth and the life it supports so much. I love how ecosystems fit together – even the brutal stuff. It may be basic to say, but now is the time to be laser focused on that love. I was thinking about human centrality on earth, us as the ‘main character’, the way that is served by faith and romanticism, and the subsequent disingenuous understandings of our position in the ecosystem, as only stewards somehow, rather than subjects. The totems at this point: a herald’s horn, lorry inner tubes, archaeological tools. I guess from doom, industry, history respectively.”

“Now I would say the record is about gripping. Totems being: crampons, rope, drips, desalination equipment, accruing various survival tech. I think gripping sums up both of the threads. There’s the emotionally correct clinging to the earth that is the substrate of everything we value, or the delusional clinging to our imagined dominant position. But also the practical, technological aspects of creating a sustainable relationship, of remaining here. Then I think of romance again.”

So Sorry So Slow comes out 26th April 2024 on Spare Thought, mixed by Fabian Prynn at 4AD Studios and mastered by Alex Wharton at Abbey Road.

Adult Jazz is Harry Burgess, Tim Slater, Steven Wells and Tom Howe.

See Adult Jazz live:
21st Oct – Hug and Pint, Glasgow
22nd Oct – The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
24th Oct – ICA – London

So Sorry So Slow track list:
1. Bleat Melisma
2. Suffer One
3. y-rod
4. No Relief 
5. Plenary 
6. Marquee
7. Dusk Song
8. Earth of Woems
9. No Sentry 
10. Ben
11. I Was Surprised
12. Windfarm

https://adultjazz.bandcamp.com/

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