by tom johnson
“Stop this horse for I am withering.
I’m nothing but a skeleton of what I remember to be.”
If you caught the premiere of ‘Oceanside Cities‘ – the new album from Adir L.C – last week, you would have seen it feted with the ‘folk-pop’ tag, which might make something of a confusing entry point when listening to his, admittedly wonderful, new album on Bandcamp. Auto-playing from track number seven, ‘New City‘ is a crunching, full-blooded, thick-edged blast of heartening rock music that dilates in to a huge final minute of snarling guitar noise and thunderous percussion. Which is to say, there ain’t much folk-pop on show here.
And yet, that umbrella still makes some kind of sense when delving in to the album as a whole. Recorded in Tel Aviv but inspired by and written within a series of, you guessed it, oceanside cities, this charming, invigorating collection of songs bridges a gap between the two extremities of his songwriting craft; at once as soft and subtle as it is robust and impactful. There is swooning alt. rock, the kind of which David Bazan fans will instantly feel compelled by, yet there are more immediately floating moments too, seemingly inspired by the breezier days found in the suitably more buoyant climbs of some pretty seaside town.
The release of the album comes with the news that Adir has recently returned to NYC to live alongside the likes of LVL UP and Porches at Brooklyn’s DBTS venue and there’s certainly an air of both of those bands work across ‘Oceanside Cities’. It’s there in the occasional tongue-in-cheek lyrical refrain, the downbeat juxtaposition which is also prevalent, and certainly in the grainy, splinter-edged vocals that give this record it’s brilliantly human persona.
One of the autumn’s most endearing retreats, it’s a hearty and compellingly sincere ode to the dark complexity of empty days, empty cities, and the paths we strive to carve out of them. Stream it in full below and head to the Bandcamp page to get hold of your own copy.
Oceanside Cities is out now.