Editor’s Note: Originally published June 2018
Just when you think you can nail down Andrew Adkins’ style or genre, he flips the script and shows he is a songsmith of chameleon-like proportions. He does it with an impressive authenticity, and never drags the line with the same old sound.
Adkins started his music career co-founding two progressive bands, one being blues-infused rock band Mellow Down Easy, the other Lions For Real, which went on to catch the eye of none other than Ryan Gosling-fronted label Werewolf Heart Records. Unfortunately, the bands fizzled into obscurity as they often will, which led Adkins to aspire in a new solo direction. He found success when songs of his such as “I’m Indestructible” and “Fire and Brimstone” were courted by television and movies, which earned him more notches in his belt.
Adkins is a merchant of melody, and conveys his unique songs with a philosophical and introspective delivery. His poetic and thought-provoking lyrics bundle up tightly with his assortment of music styles ranging from melodic folk pop, to blues rock, to indie, to soul. Adkins’ vocals are something reminiscent of a later-years matured Bob Dylan in some songs, and a Lenny Kravitz meets John Mayer in others. From “When The World’s Against Me” to “Those Circles” to “I’m Indestructible”, Adkins brings a new and intriguing air to each song.
“…To Become Immortal Then Die” sounds like it could be the title of a new Slayer album, but alas that couldn’t be farther from the case. The opening track titled, “When All The World’s Against Me,” which provokes thoughts of a depressed, somber tune maybe in D Minor, steers in a much different direction. The song kicks into gear with upbeat bouncing horns that conjures words like “success” or “optimism.” It’s a song full of soul and reflective imagery, setting the tone for the album.
The sophomore track, “In This Together,” has a certain sound that could easily be used for a Coca Cola or Target commercial, and I say that as a compliment. It has common feel-good appeal with positive lyrics.
But it’s from there that things start to branch out and take different routes and produce different feels.
The third track, “A Tiny Spark” (In This Great Machine) starts to reflect the uncertainties and difficulties of life. Adkins sings, “It’s as cold as hell/Everything is strange/Curse this life I’m living/I could use a change.” Themes of self-reflection, doubt, and acceptance are evident throughout.
“Fire and Brimstone” veers off the familiar indie folk pop path and roars into gear with a gnarly blues rock riff, setting the tone for this badass number. There’s something of an early Kravitz meets Black Keys vibe, what with his fuzz tones and effects.
The song that really jolts the soul from the get-go is “I’m Indestructible.” It opens with what sounds like a creepy old early 20th century vinyl a cappella recording. Then it kicks in with a steady, brooding, bare bones beat with Adkins singing about the resilience and invincibility of spirit.
The album winds down with a positive anthem of peace. “Throw Down Your Guns” is a song that speaks volumes in the current social climate. It reflects a very sensitive and highly relevant subject among not only our community, but mankind as a whole. “There’s no use in waging war, no more,” he sings.
Adkins’ “…To Become Immortal Then Die” delivers a very soulful, philosophical, and socially relevant approach. His blend of folk pop and indie rock make for a most unique yet familiar sound. The album tallies numerous introspective and imaginative songs regarding humanity; songs of love, unity, understanding, and misunderstanding.
You can listen to Adkins’ music and learn more about him on his Facebook page HERE.