Friday night I had the pleasure to check out Adam Torres playing an early show at Schubas in Chicago. I was mostly unfamiliar with the singer, but I had no problem enjoying the mood he created in the room with his songs. His debut, Nostra Nova, has evolved into a kind of cult classic, and the music he played from his newest release, Pearls To Swine, sound like that one might just be a hit as well. The album title is more likely a biblical reference than to the great comic strip “Pearls Before Swine,” but it’ll be good either way.
Torres is able to build a lot of atmosphere into his music using fairly sparse instrumentation-a guitar, violin, drums, keys/electric mandolin. The songs themselves are a bit hard to explain; Torres’ voice can sometimes hit ridiculous high notes that drip with a deep feeling of loss and yearning as you can hear on “Juniper Arms.”
It’s an odd mix of Perfume Genius and some of Neil Young’s acoustic work. Interesting and pleasant to the ear. You can hear it for yourself in September when Pearls To Swine comes out on Fat Possum Records (which Torres’s drummer was happy to represent with his t-shirt).