REVIEW // Adam Holmes & The Embers – Midnight Milk (Gogar Records)

This article originally appeared in The Skinny

When Edinburgh-based Adam Holmes started conceiving ideas for his latest album, he came to a realisation: he had more technology in his computer than Pink Floyd did when creating Dark Side of the Moon. So, instead of traversing into the studio, he ventured to write and record Midnight Milk in his own home.

If it sounds as though that would lead to quite a minimalist record, then opener When Will I Be Free proves to be a surprise. With rapping and hip-hop-inspired record scratches alongside pounding bass drums, it’s a bold first statement. When Midnight Milkintroduces bursts of gospel choir, melancholic piano and smoky, noir brass, it can be an atmospheric, cinematic experience, one where it’s hard to believe it was recorded in his bedroom.

At other times though, Holmes falls back on his warm tones and acoustic guitar. There’s a faint air of Paul Simon’s Graceland here and there, while Big Blue Island adopts a reggae melody – even if it’s ended with a dark and distorted breakdown. It’s a rare moment of harshness, but that’s unsurprising considering Holmes claims that he was attempting to capture a sense of contentment and calmness. Midnight Milk may not be particularly ground-breaking, but that helps to make it all the more comforting.

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