I’m pleased to report that the latest album from UK acid house alumni and long-time electronic/Balearic troopers A Man Called Adam is as fresh, interesting and worthy of your time as lead single “Ammonite” hinted it might be. The Girl With A Hole In Her Heart is an accomplished and varied collection of house, synth-pop and Balearic, thematically based around the country and city landscapes of Teeside UK where Sally Rogers grew up and spent lockdown.
It’s mostly dance floor material, but as ever with AMCA, there are plenty of ideas and fresh takes on the 4/4 formula. “Fight or Flight” is built around an absolute killer single-chord key riff, some sunny piano flourishes and a nice single sustained high string, with Sally’s highly catchy vocal hook floating beatifically on top.
“It’s Science Baby – Funkified” finds AMCA in highly competent, feel-good disco-filter-house mode, and “Ammonite”‘s clean, efficient 4/4 beats, otherworldly-yet-weirdly familiar metallic riff and “French Kiss”-esque vibe are a welcome inclusion too.
“Starlings” sets Sally’s keening, yearning vocals in a meadow of pastoral strings and pulsing synth arpeggios with some added folk-flavoured flute. It’s a lovely, unique-sounding piece of music, the kind of quietly confident genre-blurring song you hope a long-time electronic outfit will include on their albums, but then it flips into this thick, dense, unassumingly euphoric house song. I just wish it was longer.
The entirely beatless “Stochastic” meanwhile, is seven minutes of undulating, modulating synth arpeggios travelling across the stereo field and around your headphones through a series of synthetic peaks and troughs, while “In Favour Of Storms” is a deep rumbling ambient piece, the Yorkshire weather in musical form.
The Girl With A Hole In Her Heart has a unique feel all of its own. It’s the Balearic sound put through a Teeside COVID lockdown filter, and the combination of hedonist partyism and a more reflective and introspective mood works wonderfully.
⚪️ The Girl With A Hole In Her Heart Tracklisting
A Man Called Adam: The Girl With A Hole In Her Heart (Other Records Ltd / 12" Vinyl + Digital)
1. The Girl With A Hole In Her Heart (07:04)
2. Fight or Flight (05:45)
3. Frankie's Theme (04:50)
4. Over The Border (01:48)
5. Starlings (04:54)
6. Stochastic (07:04)
7. Ammonite (04:38)
8. Hidden Dragon (05:17)
9. Over The Border (Bongo Club Dub) (04:07)
10. In Favour Of Storms (03:06)
11. It's Science Baby (Funkified) (05:10)
⚪️ Disclosure Statement
This record was not submitted as a promo.
5 Mag Issue 209
Out September 2023
SOUNDS OF THE UNDERGROUND: This was originally published in 5 Mag Issue #209 featuring Alinka, Laseech, Being, Marco Lenzi, the sordid story of the Goldman Sachs CEO’s DJ career and more. Help keep our vibe alive by becoming a member for $2/month and get every issue in your inbox right away!