At a time when most of us may feel our lives are devoid of any meaning, speaking in tongues, singer-songwriter Andrew Adkins reminds us to search within.
Starting out having spent a number of years playing in psychedelic blues-rock trio Mellow Down Easy, before joining indie-rock group Lions for Real, Andrew began to feel incomplete. Making the decision to launch a solo career, Andrew found himself touring the United States from coast to coast sharing bills with A-list acts such as Sturgill Simpson, Cage the Elephant, and Little Big Town. Additionally, Andrew’s music found its way into the hands of television and film giants like Netflix, Hulu, and Lionsgate Films.
His first solo record since 2017’s To Become Immortal Then Die,The Echoist is all Andrew. Fueled by various artistic influences, moods, and feelings, Adkins’ latest album encapsulates many meanings both socially and sonically, welcoming different worldviews, getting in touch with his surroundings, celebrating his heroes, reminiscing on his past all while fulfilling his passion.
“I really wanted to make a record that reflected me, as a person as well as an artist,” explains Adkins. “In the past, I’ve had influences pulling and pushing me in different directions, to try and appeal more to a certain market or genre. Because of a couple of songs that I’ve had success with within the licensing/sync realm, I had publishers and production companies that wanted me to give them albums of songs that sound like that and nothing else. I didn’t care about what people were going to think about it, or what market I wanted to appeal to, I just wanted to make music the way I heard it in my head.”
Not having your own voice can erode your own sense of self to the point of not knowing who you are. Making you feel inadequate and cause you to become a shell of what you really need to be.
There have been times throughout his career that Andrew was told to make music he didn’t feel in his heart, and therefore felt he was forced to echo what he was hearing from other individuals.
The making of this record has allowed him to be free with his thoughts and ideas. “I could just focus on the record and immerse myself in the world around me and the craziness of the year that has been 2020,” explains Adkins.
Life is like a puzzle, it may seem like a mess at first, but when you make the effort to fit in the right pieces, it all comes together. Andrew took it upon himself to do what was in his best interest and in turn he has crafted a record built on an amalgamation of genres including blues, rock, and soul.
In psychedelic rock fashion, the opening track “Mostly Ouroboros” is reminiscent of the White Stripes’ sound, with buzzing guitars, hard-hitting drums, and a megaphone-like vocal effect.
Following is the soul-funk track, “Vagabond Shoes.” The song was inspired by COVID-19 and written, recorded, and produced in his home studio in East Nashville while in quarantine. “Back in March much of Nashville was ravaged by a devastating tornado. We were in the throes of that when coronavirus hit only a couple of weeks later, says Adkins. “I went into quarantine and just felt defeated and scared, like most of us did. The song basically fell into my lap. I think the uplifting vibe of the tune was fitting as a way to soothe and distract from the current situation.”
The soft-tempo acoustic-driven track “Bitter Pills” is reflective of a time that might have been hard to swallow. “Words travel like wildfire.” It’s a bitter pill and then you choke.” A song that may have been written out of personal experience as words of advice to those Andrew associated with.
To round out the kaleidoscope of an album, “Save The Day” is inspired by the current state of the world and America itself; a pandemic, global warming, civil unrest, protests, and the political climate leading up to one of the most important presidential elections in history. An indie rock track, “Save The Day” is about the here and now. We must be in each other’s corner willing to extend a helping hand. “It’s not a competition. It’s a community,” explains Adkins. Nashville seems to have such a strong communal feel about it. Granted, there’s a lot of cliques within the community, but overall, it’s a very welcoming scene. Nashville also has become such a cultural hub in the last decade, more than ever. You see it and get all here! I’m proud to call this home!”
Just remember, if we take the time to listen to our thoughts and the echoes in our heads, we will begin to understand who we truly are. Once we come to understand who we are, we can share our story with the world, which is exactly what Andrew is proud to say he’s done.