bio

“Talking-songs” is Adam Gnade’s (guh-nah-dee) attempt to write music that sounds “how America feels.” Based around prose writing (not poetry or spoken word) he brings in elements of noise, country, mountain music, and work songs. His albums and stories (his first novel is out this Valentine’s Day Dutchmoney Books) intersect, sharing characters, creating a “universe of lives and backstories.” In the past two years since he began doing this full-time, he’s toured the US and UK twice (alongside friends Youthmovies, Jonquil, Eugene McGuinness, Blanket, and House of Brothers) and released records on Drowned in Sound Recordings, Loud + Clear, BelowPDX, DeathBombArc, Native Kin, Bad Drone, and Try Harder Records. Live, sometimes it’s Adam with a banjo or five-string acoustic guitar standing in the middle of the crowd; sometimes full band (including regular collaborator Thaddeus Christian.) This fall saw the release of Honey Slides, a collaboration with Youthmovies on the Try Harder label and the limited-edition double-CD, Palaces/Whidbey Island. A vinyl version of Palaces/Whidbey Island will be released in early 2008 by Bad Drone Media.

Palaces’ songs are creaky, deconstructed, abandoned-sounding Americana; catatonic silence meets boozy violent celebration and rattling, ghostly field hollers. Finger-plucked banjo sounds out alongside mutilated piano, craggy vocals, space-clearing bells, swampy (modified 5-string) guitar, and tape/noise/hiss collages, all played by Adam. Written on tour in Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and on Amelia Island, and recorded in Portland, Oregon, Palaces runs through its five tracks in shambled, rickety warmth.

The Whidbey Island side was recorded in a house on the cliffside of Washington State’s Whidbey Island with David and Thaddeus Christian. As damaged and noisy as the Palaces side is, Whidbey Island is clean and roomy with mellow fingerpicked acoustic guitar, Puget sound field recordings, doomy acoustic bass, and cascading mandolin. Lyrics follow a chilly, pastoral narrative about frost, pioneers, backseat visions, war, and folk remedies. West coast burnout vibe meets Southern Gothic death-folk. Whidbey Island is part one of Adam’s ‘island trilogy,’ which will continue with the limited-edition EP Become an Island in late 2008.” ” Email duke@adamgnade.com to order.

Adam Gnade and Youthmovies’ Honey Slides EP was written on tour in England last year, improv’d during drunken collaborative sets, and recorded on a chilly, grey day at Oxfordshire’s Warehouse Studios while a bottle of murky port was passed around the room. A full-on culture clash, the music is like an American marching band playing a British rave. Thumping micro-house morphs into a psychedelic brass band while landscapes of android ghost beats emerge from luminous pools of ambient noise. The vocals shout and proclaim in surreal tones like the spooky hollers of a Southern Baptist preacher inside a swampland chapel. Ideas and images cycle back, flashing brief visions of haunted wilderness, rising seas, decadent youth, faith healers, urban decay, and midnight carnivals in torch-lit clearings. A new animal born to two mothers, an engaging, weird, dancy, absorbing, freaked-out electronic pop tapestry.

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