Pleased to Meet You Spotlight: Adult Jazz | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Pleased to Meet You Spotlight: Adult Jazz

Getting the Gist of Things

Aug 06, 2014 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Band Name: Adult Jazz

Members: Harry Burgess, Tim Slater, Steven Wells, and Tom Howe.

Where: Leeds, U.K.

Foundation and Formation: Raised in Guildford, located approximately 30 miles south of London, Burgess and Slater attended school together as children. Building a friendship with Slater during his teenage years, Burgess was introduced to Wells. While the three played in their own separate bands, they always talked about doing something together. Serendipitously all attending the same university in Leeds, the trio officially began playing together. Through a friend the group was then introduced to Howe, who was studying Music Electronics at a nearby university. It was Howe who eventually encouraged the group to record their songs. “We were really into the writing but we really didn’t have the expertise to get the stuff recorded,” says Burgess. “Tom was really helpful. It made us go, ‘We’ve got the skills here. Between us four we can make a record.’ So that’s what we set out to do over the course of being in Leeds. We didn’t play live that much. We were keen to give a lot of time to recording a record, which we did over about four years.”

Recording: Free of any designated timetable or deadline, the band honed the sound and feel of their debut album, Gist Is, throughout their time at school. “We very much liked the recording process as a way of intervening and engaging with a song,” says Burgess. “It just gives you a whole palette of options with a track, then say just doing a straight take of something you had jammed in a room. I think it gave us the space and confidence to pursue things and take the time to do it. As a record we’re really at peace with it, but it’s definitely got a scrappy element to it. We’ve described it as being a concise, dwelled-over scrapbook. You can hear all the different spaces it was recorded in. It wasn’t recorded in one studio in one go. We recorded all around Leeds as we wrote. We even went three summers in a row to a friend’s dad’s studio. He was an old folk musician, so he had a studio in the Scottish hills. It was kind of the makings of a studio. He had lots of equipment but there wasn’t quite a space. So we went up there for a couple of summers and helped build it, even doing a bit of labor around his house to pay for our studio time.”

Reference Points: alt-J, Dirty Projectors, Joanna Newsom, Grizzly Bear.

Sound and Vision:

Releases: The band’s debut album, Gist Is, was released this week via Spare Thought.


[Pick up or download the next issue of Under the Radar to read more from our interview with Adult Jazz.]


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