Steve Adey’s third studio album, Do Me a Kindness, will be released on Vinyl, CD and Digital Download on July 28th. The album contains nine cover songs plus an adaptation of a poem by Hermann Hesse. The album marks Steve’s first release in four years, following on from the critically acclaimed ‘The Tower of Silence’ (The Sunday Times – Album of the week).
Do Me a Kindness was recorded in a 19th century Edinburgh church, with further tracking and mixing at Steve’s home studio utilising mostly vintage equipment.
“I entered the studio (actually a church building) with 18-20 ideas, unformed and embryonic: it’s the same approach I’ve used for a while whereby the record takes on its own trajectory. We tried many variations of the songs and numerous musicians, mostly playing together in the room with warts and all.”
1. The Unsigned Painting/Sense of Doubt – Rickie Lee Jones, David Bowie
2. The Devil – P J Harvey
3. Everyday Is Like Sunday – Morrissey
4. To Cry About – Mary Margaret O’Hara
5. God Is in the House – Nick Cave
6. I Want You – Bob Dylan
7. Over – Portishead
8. Murderer – Low
9. How Heavy the Days – Hermann Hesse, Steve Adey
10. River Guard – Smog
Do Me a Kindness was initially intended as an EP: a creative left turn (or escape) from writing and recording LP3 – a work in progress self-penned album of all original material.
Alas, over a year, four songs in a week spiralled into ten!
“I wanted the recording to sound immediate, especially the vocal where I was going for single takes. Much of what we kept was a mistake or something totally unintentional.”
Helena (MacGilp) assembled a six piece vocal group for several songs.
“It was about feel and singing along rather than figuring out complicated harmonies. On ‘God Is In the House’, I wanted the sound of a congregation singing, gathered around, with Helena’s vocal recorded from the spire – that’s how we got the long, haunting reverb.”
Mixing and tracking in isolation lasted several months.
“I had a Melodeon, Moog pedal board, and an array of vintage outboard: it was where the record found its own sonic identity. I wanted to experiment with cutting/pasting and editing in the studio.” No computers were used during the recording and mixing process.
“I don’t want to be the guy who strums along to the song book doing a karaoke version.”
“How could I turn these songs inside out – but still retain the core of what makes them great!?”
So, what is your own take on Do Me a Kindness?
“I think it was (Brian) Eno that said “In art you can crash a plane and walk away. ”…” (laughing)…
… “I don’t know, it felt personal, you know, which is ironic.”
Steve Adey recorded, produced and played all instruments except:
Jonathan Whitefield Green – trumpet (1,2,4,6,7)
Dougie Hudson – percussion (1,4,6,7,10)
Doug MacDonald – guitars (except 9)
Helena MacGilp – voice
Ismael Florit – bass (6)
Izabela Kalka – saxophone (6)
Atzi Muramatsu – cello (9)
Peter Strandberg – acoustic guitar (9)
Anne Borthwick, Chris Elmes, Andrew MacIntyre, Ewan McClure, Fiona McCrindle, Carole McMurray – group vocals (3, 5, 6, 10)
Pre-order all formats here