In his new album, titled The Year of My Manifestation, singer/songwriter Calling Adam explores different aesthetics and genres with ease, delivering a surprisingly endearing – and entirely eclectic – effort that longtime fans and newcomers to his sound should appreciate equally this spring. Released in 2019 everywhere independent music is available, The Year of My Manifestation has all the trademarks of a modern hybrid offering; its songs rarely follow the same compositional path more than once, and although united by our singer’s keen lead vocal, there’s not much else to tie together this material in terms of formulaic stylization, but I wouldn’t call it the product of a contemporary trend. Calling Adam is a true free spirit, and if that was ever in doubt prior to now, it should be more than confirmed by the tone of these twelve new songs.

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Guitars are far from the only instrumental tool that Calling Adam employs in this record, but they’re inarguably one of the strongest points of focus in “Boston Song,” “Love Is True” and “Once in a Lifetime.” Primarily serving as a means of conveying the deeper emotions that can’t be broken down by mere linguistics alone, the string play in these tracks acts to make all the narrative behind the melodies in The Year of My Manifestation even more tangible to us, and in my opinion, it hits the spot. Calling Adam isn’t content to use but one channel of communication in his music; for this singer/songwriter, it’s all or nothing (in the best way possible, mind you).

Beyond the strings, “Amy,” “Sunday in the Sun” and the extended mix of a psychedelic-tinged “Love Is True” are sporting some of the more brilliant grooves I’ve heard on an indie pop/rock LP in a long time. By constructing the rhythm to echo the emotional depth of his words, Calling Adam makes it difficult for us to escape the reach of his poetic wit in this album (which, truth be told, is far from a bad thing), and though it’s a little more lyric-heavy than I was initially expecting it to be, I would say that The Year of My Manifestation is definitely among the more instrumentally stimulating releases underground fanatics are going to get their hands on in the month of March – partly because of limited competition for this artist, but mostly because of the unique design of this material.

There’s still plenty of room for him to grow into this sound more than he already has, but right now, I’m really digging where Calling Adam is taking his sound with The Year of My Manifestation. Whether it be simplistic lyrical dialogue ala “In the Game We All Lose” or “Give It to Me” or stunning melodic moxie from “You Will Always Be in My Memory” and “Distinguish Yourself Through Clouds of Smoke,” this artist making it clear to the general public, and especially critics like myself, that he means business with his music, and I would say we should absolutely anticipate some great things from his output in the years to come.

Michael Rand

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