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Drops

by Steven Adams

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  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

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1.
Out To Sea 02:36
Short sleeves, tight jeans  Don’t tell your mother where you’ve been  All the boys out to sea They dance like it’s 1983 One bump, who's sad? Tucked in shirt like someone’s dad  All the boys to sea  All the girls and their boundaries Cold hands in the car outside  No one loses, no one tries  Five days that you spend apart No one dies of a broken heart Smart shoes, smart hair Swaggering in midprice underwear  All the boys out to sea  All the girls and their alchemy  Soft drinks, soft eyes  Dancing as a means to qualify  All the boys out to sea How to claim a victory  Cold hands in the car outside No one loses if no one tries  Five days that you spend apart No one dies of a broken heart a broken heart a broken heart a broken heart
2.
Every morning in the local void  We make a choice about the day ahead Knowing that we're up against the clock The little battles inside our heads The breadcrumb trail in the labyrinth The notes we left for ourselves  As if the rock knows what's under it As if the future was a monolith And the void was our dearest old friend I’m not asking you  I’m not telling you  I’m just showing you  What you already know  There’s nothing here  There’s nothing here  There’s nothing here  And you’ll never get tired of living in the local void How could you ever get tired of living in the local void? Every morning in the local void  Another chance to start again New broom clean sheet blank slate  A way to erase the past  And build something beautiful Looking up and never looking back As if the clock was a sentinel  Instead of something that we bow down to  And the void was avoidable and kind I’m not asking you  I’m not telling you  I’m just showing you  What you already know  There’s no one here  There’s no one here There’s no one here  And you’ll never get tired of living in the local void How could we ever get tired of living in the local void? We will never get tired of living in the local void
3.
Moderation 03:37
see me coming maybe don’t say my name  all things in moderation  reading the menu checking the rules a two pint hero  with the half-pill blues  still a long way from the edge both hands on the wheel at all times  speed up past the funhouse in those sensible shoes  every night's a school night eyes in the middle distance  hands where I can see them  quarter past nine quarter to three change down to second  park up for a breather  too much excitement could break a believer  still a long way from the edge  both hands on the wheel at all times  speed up past the funhouse in those sensible shoes  every night's a school night see me coming maybe don't say my name all things in good time  looking both ways check my flies for a breach  suburban wingman too pale for a beach still a long way from the edge.  both hands on the wheel at all times  speed up past the funhouse in those sensible shoes  every night's a school night 
4.
you put all that stuff in your head  and now you’re licking your wounds  and the well is dry  look outside  all the heads keep rolling away  all the heads keep rolling   it’s a terrible shame  let the pity pour down can you swallow your spite?  every day is a new surprise  all the heads keep rolling away all the heads keep rolling  all the radios switching off  and the wallets all folded up the city comes tumbling down  and the fires burn out the sky  and all the heads keep rolling away all the heads keep rolling
5.
Making Holes 03:32
I keep digging the same hole  And I’ve been wondering how deep it will go If I don’t stop and I keep going down  I’ll be miles below  That is how deep I could go  Making holes everywhere I go  Making holes   I keep digging the same hole  And now I’m wondering  How deep I can go  If I don’t stop I could keep going down  till I'm miles below That is how deep I can go Making holes everywhere I go Making holes
6.
Pas Moi 02:26
Maybe I’m not wired right  I’m unsurprised by the lack of wonder  Sometimes I can’t see my eyes  I don’t remember how to breathe underwater Every day in the void is a blessing  I’m working on a saviour complex  And from this, the penultimate collection  Feet up eyes down it’s been a blast  And I’m like oh not me / pas moi   But maybe I’m not wired right  I’m underwhelmed by the wealth of choices We lose great art to compromise  And stuff that helps us to get to heaven But maybe I’m not wired right  Can’t break an egg without faking regret  All the guestlist are lost to me  Now I live in an empathy vacuum  And I’m like oh not me / pas moi
7.
We're in for heavy weather  we stayed up late last night  holding it together  trying to keep it light   Let’s burn our lips on the coffee  and laugh about the old days  about how you got something on me  and other times we stayed up late    how could it be casual? it’s never casual   In the autumn/winter collection  with my head in the third world war  in the breakfast room of the hotel  sit in silence and settle the score   We take a walk down to the harbour find something else to be thinking about  maybe to see something new or familiar  maybe to shake the old feeling out     How could it be casual? It’s never casual    You can’t go anywhere forever  You take yourself with you wherever you go I know I said it before now I’ll say it again: You can’t go anywhere forever  You take yourself with you wherever you go.  I know I’ve said it before I just said it again   How could it be casual? It’s never casual
8.
Fascists 04:08
Do we drink to their deaths? Do we dance when they’re gone?  Are we bigger than that?  No we’re better than that   Do we celebrate their passing? Will we party when they pass on? Or just the tip of a hat  A little skip in our steps   Do we drink to their deaths?  Do we dance on their graves?  Our sighs of relief Deep and sincere   Alexander Jacob Lawrence the actor Katie Juliet Isabel Arron and Jim and Andy go to hell
9.
we were kissing cousins we were ships in the night it was supposed to be a secret, I don’t remember why  your story’s safe with me, don’t let that trouble your mind  last time I saw you you looked like a vampire maybe that was me, I used to be unreliable  who feels safe with who? since when was that the point?  worse things could happen  I don’t know how  give me time   last time I saw you I thought we were rivals maybe that was me I used to be irresponsible who feels safe with who? since when was that the point? we were kissing cousin, we were dancing in the dark except I wasn’t dancing and you just fell apart you were breaking into pieces, each one bigger than the last worse things could happen I don’t know how give me time I tried to keep it light
10.
Day Trip 03:33
oh god, where did I go? I’ve become someone I don’t know I think it’s a good thing I mean you read about the death of the self you think it’s going to happen to somebody else and then you’re bringing it home I looked up I got crushed by the sky I looked down and I don’t know why I am not looking down again I am not looking down again   oh god, now that I’m gone I can forget about carrying on this is all there is no diamonds in the mine no clues that I left behind just a sliver of time I looked up I got crushed by the sky I looked down and I don’t know why I am not looking down again I am not looking down again
11.
For every heart that breaks There’s another one in pieces We all make mistakes I don’t want to see you like this Wasting cheap wine on your sad face   We were both alone And sometimes when you need a friend You forget the things you know But I don’t want to leave you like this Wasting cheap wine on your sad face   I put my mind to something And I was trying to trying to remember I was sitting in a house or something I put my mind to   For every heart that breaks There’s another one in pieces We all make mistakes I don’t want to see you like this Wasting cheap wine on your sad face

about

“A national musical treasure" The Guardian

Steven Adams, formerly of The Broken Family Band releases new album DROPS on Fika Recordings in November 2023.

Since calling time on TBFB at the height of their success, Adams has released half a dozen albums under various names (Singing Adams, Steven James Adams, Steven Adams & The French Drops), his witty, incisive lyrics and melodic sensibilities taking in DIY indie rock, folky introspection, and off-kilter pop hooks. 

Originally from South Wales, Adams now lives in East London.

“Every record I’ve made has been in a hurry of some sort” says Adams of his new album, “and with this one I took my time”. DROPS is the first album to be credited to him as a solo artist since 2016’s Old Magick, his first new music since 2020, and his noisiest record to date.

Armed with a new batch of material, he began by upping sticks to the Welsh countryside to experiment with drummer Daniel Fordham and bassist David Stewart - both formerly of psych oddballs The Drink. The trio then took the songs to Big Jelly, a converted chapel on the south coast, with co-producer Simon Trought (Comet Gain, Johnny Flynn, The Wave Pictures) to lay down the basic tracks for DROPS.

Eschewing a full band set up (“I wanted to concentrate on one thing at a time”), recording sessions in East London followed with Laurie Earle (Absentee) on guitar and Michael Wood (Hayman Kupa Band, Michaelmas) on keyboards.

Adams then took the recordings home and to the French countryside, to work alone.“I finally got my head around home recording in 2020, while things were a bit quiet. Once I worked out how to record things I realised I didn’t have to think about time. I could let the songs evolve and change once we had the basic tracks down. After a while I started to think of them as paintings; trying something one morning, painting over it in the afternoon and attempting something completely different… it was about enjoying the process, making some bangers, playing around... and giving Simon the producer a mess to sort out when it came to mixing the record". Whenever Tom from Fika Recordings checked in to see how the album was progressing Adams would reply, “it’s taking ages but it’ll sound like it was recorded in an afternoon”.

The result is a dynamic and spirited collection of songs, with Adams's love of 90/00s US underground rock (Pavement's Bob Nastanovich is a fan) to the fore.

DROPS is a sonically compelling piece of work: from bleak/exultant opener Out to Sea and the motorik Living in the Local Void to the weirdly funereal Fascists (where Adams imagines the “little skip in our steps” that we’ll have upon outliving some baddies), and Day Trip's psychedelia in miniature. There are also moments of tenderness: the avalanche of empathy on closing track Cheap Wine Sad Face, and I Tried to Keep it Light’s “worse things could happen… I don’t know how, but give me time”.

Adams says: “I'm preoccupied by the passing of time and the way it affects how we feel. This record is about time and bewilderment and trying to make sense of things".

“…astonishing tenderness in its simplicity … brilliant lyrics.” Q Magazine
“…the tunes are instant and uplifting, but the real wallop comes from the lyrical imagery.” The Guardian
“…barbed modern life chronicles.” UNCUT

credits

released November 10, 2023

Players: Steven Adams, Laurie Earle,Daniel Fordham, David Stewart, Michael Wood, Simon Trought
Engineers: Simon Trought, Steven Adams, Michael Wood, Daniel Fordham
Mixing and mastering: Simon Trought at Soup Studios
Art: Tom Crawford
Design: Tom Ashton
Lettering: Dan Hillier
Image reproduction: Richard Deal
Hosts: Mikey Collins, Al Harle, Sadie Butler, Anna Butler, Simon Butler, Jude Rogers, Claire Palfreyman, Neil Palfreyman, Lucy Hurst
Recorded at Big Jelly, Soup Studios, Hackney Road Studios, La Cour du Liège, Le Vernet-Chaméane, Woodshed, Monnow Log, The Funhouse
Songs: Steven Adams

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