Q-Snowcase event in the picturesque city of Zell am See, Austria. They were kind enough to let us crash their servers while providing a live stream of the event as it unfolded. We were waiting, salivating over the hope that we might hear some new material after reading unanimously glowing reviews of his album from all over the place.
The set is acoustic with Isaac, Kevin and Tommy but no Ashley, and takes me back to the first round of international promo. As well as being more portable and easier to set up, it also allows Adam's talent to shine supreme. Dressed all in black, nothing showy, he keeps his look consistent with the other performances in this era.
The surprise opener is Fever. I'd often wondered how this song with so many electronic sounds would work acoustically, so I'm grateful I've been answered with its first outing. Adam's voice utilises a grainier texture which is my absolute favourite. The song bounces along brightly, a little strange in the absence of crotchularly fixated movements but Adam appears to battle hard to stay seated. Kevin's dexterous piano work is jazzy and free-flowing especially towards the end, and though a touch tentative, I'm really liking Tommy's additional funk riffs.
BTIKM has a bit of a shaky start with Adam's pitch a little off, but he soon finds his feet. The first verse is very gentle, and instead of belting out the highest parts, he goes into his falsetto. It's also less beat-driven than the single with smooth piano work. His timbre is so rich and when he reaches the climax with his powerful belt it's a prickly-hair moment. Kevin's backing vocals complement Adam's well. Make sure you listen to Adam's beatboxing cameo after the end of the song.
The highlight of this set for me has to be OOL. I've heard the St. Agathe one so many times that the audience screams have become integral to it. So it comes as a wonderful relief to no longer hear those sounds when braced and ready for them. Oh my. Even the introduction is a joy to behold, the pleasant sound of the flowing piano nowhere near as harshly jangly as that of the guitar. I've not heard Adam's voice so soft, so sweet and so silken smooth. I'm usually one for the excesses of full-on wails but this is understated perfection. His doleful voice emotes quiet resignation, hushed breathy and fragile, not whispery but still retaining melody. His fluttery vibrato is painfully beautiful and I just can't get enough of that 'clooooooser' along with umpteen other different examples in the first verse.
Kevin and Tommy aren't quite in perfect synch with their timing at the intro to the second verse. Adam changes his volume and tone to go from resignation to mild defiance as Isaac kicks in with percussion. The little embellishments at 'old' and 'enough' are a nice touch as is replacing the final 'oh' at the bridge with a velvety 'eh'. The crescendo is one that's deeply satisfying as Adam ups his intensity to give us my favourite harder scrapier tone of his, rich resonant and harmonious, goosebumps galore, showing plenty more fight left within.
I've heard WWFM so many times now but this goes to show how every one is still unique. I suspect there was a case of lyric fail when Adam started a 'Just' line with 'I' that brought on his freestyling ad-libbing riffs, a wonderful treat. The ending 'I won't let you down' rather than 'WWFM?' gives the song a very different feel. It's abrupt and shifts the focus towards taking responsibility rather than feeling the victim.
And then we have the first listen of the album title track, Trespassing. It's only a short snippet because we agonisingly got cockblocked by request. Adam tries to get the audience to liven up by clapping. First impressions are that it's a fast punchy song, funky as fuck with lots of with and rebellious attitude in the storytelling lyrics. It's very wordy with a quick delivery so there's no room for getting tongued-tied stumbling over them. Definitely not one for singing whilst drunk! The bassline is irresistible, (having already set up camp within my head and showing no signs of ever wanting to shift) the melody of which reminds me of MARRS's 80s classic Pump Up The Volume but more fleet-footed. There's a sprinkling of funk riffs and if you don't feel the urge to move to this then get someone to zap you with a defibrillator because you must have just died. This is just the type of song I've been waiting so long for Adam to lend his voice to, and my, does that voice sound infuckingcredible.