Album review: Steve Adey - Do Me A Kindness
PUBLISHED: 18:30 01 August 2017 | UPDATED: 18:30 01 August 2017
A heavy-going covers album that takes its songs deeper into the darkness.
Originally intended as an EP of covers as a distraction from writing his third album, Do Me A Kindness became a year-long project for feted singer-songwriter Steve Adey.
His interpretations of PJ Harvey, Smog, Bowie and more were taped mostly as-live in a 19th century Edinburgh church, giving gripping immediacy and atmospherics.
An emotive, downcast weight pervades – the chirpy jangle of Dylan’s 1966 hit I Want You is almost unrecognisable, starting with woolly, low synth notes and a flat motorik beat. The claustrophobia is lifted with guitar stabs and a multi-voiced backing, muted horns taking on the familiar tumbling-note motif.
Portishead’s Over is ominous, heavy, spectral and unsettling, while the sweeping melancholic strings of Morrissey’s Everyday Is Like Sunday become lone strums of warm semi-acoustic guitar, vocals delivered by a truly mournful-sounding Adey and an angelic female foil.
It’s always interesting, but sometimes an acquired taste – his heavy hand smothers the unsettling sonic tension in Murderer, a devilish address to God by cult US slo-core outfit Low.
By its end, Do Me A Kindness feels like a plea.