Adam Stafford – Imaginary Walls Collapse
This is an album that very nearly never saw the light of day; Adam Stafford, former Y’all Is Fantasy Island main man and a respected solo artist and filmmaker in his own right, came close to quitting music last year. Those who persuaded him to reconsider are sure to have their faith repaid with a collection of songs that ranks amongst his finest work yet.
Imaginary Walls Collapse continues with the recording techniques for which Stafford is by now well-known: reverb-heavy riffs are looped, layered and built upon with beatboxing or heavy drums, but the songs never lose their essential pop hooks. His recent Americana-inflected single Please is a case in point – a prospective radio staple just waiting for a DJ to open their ears. More focussed in intent than Build a Harbour Immediately, there's plenty of nourishment on offer here. Stafford still remains relatively unknown outside of Scotland, this could be the album that quickly changes that.