Kyle Adem “Armour”
Songs full of religious imagery, of personal angst, a confessional style, sound familiar?
It does, and his voice isn’t that far from John Darnielle’s either, and at times he even adds Oberst vibrato (‘Samual Son’). Can you imagine Oberst writing a song entitled ‘Insignificant’? Of course you can. To be fair, Adem may be piecing his songs together from scraps of others (and who doesn’t) but he does still claim them for his own. His zeal and conviction are totally convincing.
Judging from these songs, Adem has been scarred by his bible studies; religion isn’t a source of comfort to him, more a source of conflict and pain. ‘Sunlight & the Sea’ is a litany of guilt and rebellion, this religion is search for answers to the wrong questions. What helps Adem is an eye for detail, he embellishes with horns and strings, sparingly. ‘Brothers We Grow’ is piano based as opposed to the majority which are guitar based, it is also gentler with the cello adding its sad timbre. I’m happy to listen to Adem wrestling with his demons in the shape of his songs, here’s hoping he triumphs.