On the song “Trouble,” Nashville-based singer/songwriter Adam Newman sings “Well there are people running / EXODUS IN MOTION / There are people going wild” over a frenzied piano line, anchored against ferocious drums and searing electric guitar. While the song takes the casting out of Lucifer from heaven as its jumping off point, this line serves as an overarching theme across these five songs on Newman’s debut EP, Get Out The Dark.
Adam Newman grew up in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Eastern Kentucky — an area known for coal mining, Christian beliefs and deeply conservative values. While these grounds proved fertile for Newman’s early-instilled love of music, learning hymns and three-part harmony by hearing his mother, aunt and grandmother sing in their country church, and later inheriting the gift of songwriting from his great-grandfather, a traveling preacher and gospel-songwriter in the mid-1900s, they also provided quite the struggle, especially as he began questioning religion and right-wing politics.
Over the last decade, Newman has performed in various musical outfits, but it wasn’t until the songs for Get Out The Dark emerged that he really began to understand the power and vivid intensity of his voice. It was the beginning of his first major exodus: releasing the constraints put on by social mores and strict codes of conduct to dive deeper, discovering the stories that needed to be told on his own terms and from his own perspective.
What’s resulted is a collection of five songs that immediately draw the listener in with stories of human growth and suffering, all moored by his stellar piano playing, recalling the likes of Ben Folds and Tori Amos. They began as ruminations during times of strife, acting as a sanctuary from the discord (a concept he further explores on “Beneath the Universe,”). But in 2012, Newman began working at the legendary Blackbird Studios in Nashville — a place that’s hosted such greats as R.E.M., Sheryl Crow and Pearl Jam. It was here that these five tracks grew into fully-formed beings.
To help round out what Newman already tracked in Nashville with Blackbird engineer Nathan Yarborough, he brought in renowned Grammy Award-winning producer Kevin Killen (U2, Elvis Costello, Peter Gabriel) for additional production and mixing, as well as legendary guitarist Gerry Leonard (David Bowie, Duncan Sheik, Suzanne Vega). Interweaving Newman’s dynamic piano playing with Leonard’s thoughtful, resplendent guitar, Killen sought to give the songs space in the arrangements where needed, allowing the songs to breathe, and then also heightening the alarming anticipation and subsequent catharsis in the more rock-forward tracks.
Get Out The Dark is a powerful, triumphant first release from an artist not afraid to wrestle with the darker sides of human experience. Adam Newman embraces raw vulnerability.
and yet also breaks free of the confines of oppression — an exodus in motion, played out over five masterful songs.
Adam Newman music including the debut EP now available.
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