New Artist of the Day – Adam Stafford

Our New Artist of the Day today is Y’all is Fantasy Island ex-frontman and friend of PAWS Adam Stafford.

Adam Stafford hails from Falkirk in Central Scotland. For a small town, there is no small amount of talent in the area, with Aidan Moffat and Bill Wells also from Falkirk, while Moffat’s Arab Strap band-mate Malcolm Middleton was raised in the town.

To some people, Adam Stafford will be a familiar name. He’s been fairly active in the Scottish music scene having been the frontman of Y’all is Fantasy Island from 2005-2011.

He’s also released an album and EP under the name Size of Kansas. More recently, he’s recorded under his own name and released 2011’s very well received Build a Harbour Immediately.

As if releasing a barrel load of records isn’t enough, he also runs the label Wise Blood Industries. Amongst the releases on the label was the debut release by Louder than War favourites PAWS, who cite Adam as a huge influence on their career, even labelling him (somewhat tongue in cheek) the “PAWSfather”.

His own album, Build A Harbour Immediately was released via the label and co-produced with Paul Savage at the renowned Chem 19 Studios in Glasgow. Since the album’s release in August 2011 there have been lots of live performances, including a support slot with The Twilight Sad.

He’s also just released a split 7″ on Edinburgh’s Gerry Loves Records, with Rick Redbeard (The Phantom Band).

Not content with being a musician and running a label, Adam Stafford is also a filmmaker of some renown. His short documentary The Shutdown, has won seven international awards. He’s also directed the music video for The Twilight Sad’s ‘Seven Years of Letters’ which won Best Video at the 2011 Scottish New Music Awards. He’s also just completed a second short film, No Hope For Men Below, a film about a mining disaster near Falkirk in 1923.

Back to the music though and catching Adam Stafford live is quite a treat. He’s like the digital age version of the one man band. Performing solo, he uses guitar and vocals, pushed through loop pedals and effects boards with startling results.

Songs are carefully constructed, with layer upon layer being built up creating dazzling results. On ‘Shot Down You Summer Wannabes’ the only instrument used is his voice, to wonderful effect. Melody and percussion are all vocal and it works so well live.

Aside from the recent release on Gerry Loves Records, there’s a forthcoming EP under the name Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo. Not solely an Adam Stafford release, it also features D King and Robbie Lesiuk. The EP is a split cassette, with Stafford’s side being made entirely of instrumental music for film.

Suffice to say that as a filmmaker, he has a unique grasp of what music for film is and as such the EP is an absolute treat. The EP will be released on Wise Blood Industries on 23 August 2012.

All words by Steve Mcgillivray. You can read more from Steve on LTW here.

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A child of the 1970's, I have an unnatural obsession with The Jam and Star Wars. This has never changed and I look forward to handing this down to my 1 year old daughter some day. Can be found lurking around at gigs in Edinburgh, before skulking off over the Forth Road Bridge to Fife with a notebook full of my ramblings. Not consigned to any particular genre - just love music. Can also be found talking rubbish on twitter far too often.

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