'The Tower of Silence' - the follow-up to 2006's critically acclaimed 'All Things Real' (The Sunday Times - CD of the week) finds Adey doing what he does best - creating emotionally charged songs and moulding a soundtrack which is unlike any other record you will hear this year. The album encompasses a myriad of emotions. Adey carves out a filmic wall of sound, offsetting his baritone vocal and piano led songs.

The album contains ten songs: nine self penned and a cover of Farewell Sorrow by Scottish singer songwriter Alasdair Roberts. "It’s a great song that I would have loved to have written". Dita Parlo is written in response to Jean Vigo's 1930's film L'Atalante.

'The Tower of Silence' was recorded in Edinburgh, laid down in a 19th century church with, for the most part, an old style approach.

Adey assembled a live band for festival shows and a debut headline tour in 2007, then continued working with the same set of musicians for a three day recording session which formed the raw band performances that largely make up 'The Tower of Silence'. Why such a gap between albums? "I recorded a lot of variations and numerous versions of the songs. I was going for takes, moments that work, often with little idiosyncrasies. I knew I wanted to experiment with cutting and pasting and using my studio/mixing desk as an instrument. Having said that, I never used computers during the recording and mixing, so the approach was old school. I did further tracking and instrumentation in isolation, recording musicians individually, and simply got immersed in the studio. Hopefully the record benefits from the process. I was careful not to make something that was ornamental or over produced. I wanted it to sound like it was done quickly, but thoroughly considered and fully realised".

"I've observed that many of my songs are about polarity: plus - minus, male – female. Much of this album was inspired by and contrasting both 'the monumental' and 'the fragile'. I did some travelling, I saw some incredible things and met interesting people, but I had some near misses and was seriously ill along the way. I contracted Dengue fever and had Polycythemia which resulted in extreme blood cell levels and caused my liver to inflate. AND I was involved in car crash! It was a horror show, really horrible, but at the same time, the stuff that I remember most was the wonderful things I saw".

"The title came from of a place in India where the dead are laid to rest on a hill tower and gifted to the birds. But on a musical level it pertains to the value of silence - making sure nothing is overplayed is an important factor".

Musicians, loyal friends and collaborators include: Doug MacDonald, Helena MacGilp, Ismael Florit, members of the Scottish National Orchestra and producer/engineer Calum Malcolm (Blue Nile, Prefab Sprout).

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Matt Canning for www.herdsofbirds.com contributed all illustrations for the album’s artwork and worked tirelessly with Steve to integrate the visuals and soundscapes.

" I wanted to create something melancholy for the album, but also something quite ethereal and panoramic, as Steve's music has a kind of wide-screen quality about it. We decided it would be best to stay away from tower images, so my idea was to come up with an image that positioned the viewer (or listener) in a high place. In my work, I like to play around with the scale and mass of objects, and to try and make the impossible seem possible, hence the blue whale suspended on balloons and parachutes. I tried a few embellishments such as clouds and a horizon, but soon realised that what made the illustration work was the sense of stillness and silence it seemed to suggest, so I settled for some subtle textures instead. These textures continue through the artwork, and I kept the type faces clean and modern to excentuate the minimalism of the artwork and the music contained therein."

Matt Canning

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Steve cites Nina Simone, Nick Cave, Rickie Lee Jones, Will Oldham and Mark Hollis amongst his influences. "Sonically, I wanted to emphasise the room in the church where we recorded. And from there it was all about how the musicians interacted. I think we got some good takes. We were thinking on a folk level more and more, but we used vintage synthesizers and older studio equipment, so we were calling it electronic folk or future folk.”

Track listing:

  1. A Few Seconds Have Passed
  2. Laughing
  3. Just Wait Till I Get You Home
  4. Army Of One
  5. With Tongues
  6. Secret Place
  7. Farewell Sorrow
  8. The Field
  9. Dita Parlo
  10. Tomorrow
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