John Adams – No White Lies

Saturday, December 9, 2023


A lot of singer songwriter EP’s can be very dull and lifeless because they don’t offer anything of worth or interest, luckily that is certainly not the case with John Adams and his latest EP No White Lies. The Wales born artist creates atmospheric piano and guitar lead music that, at it’s core, offers heartfelt narratives that have the power to leave a strong impact on whomever listens to them.

The EP opens with First Line, a track that wouldn’t feel too out of place on a Ed Sheeran album, with a stripped back production that gives off an intimate feel, almost like Adams is performing in the middle of your living room. He offers an evocative emotional vocal that is reminiscent of traditional folk tracks that thrived off of this. It’s a promising start to the EP that shows us exactly who he is.

Million Lives is probably the most emotionally poignant song of the whole EP. The little touches of the string section playing delicately over the top of a gentle piano melody and soothing guitar plucking creates this tender atmosphere that is enhanced even further by the honest and somewhat touching lyrics as well. It’s the type of track that would play at the climax of a rom-com where the two lovers reunite in a long embrace and that’s exactly you’d want from a track like this.

The follow up track is definitely the one where we get to hear Adams really push his vocal ability further than any other track. Flames still keeps the laidback approach to his songwriting style but adds a gospel element to it with a choir being added into the mixed and Adams really playing off of this with him exciting some beautiful vocal runs and hitting some glorious high notes in the process. It’s him experimenting with his sound but not pushing it so far that you wouldn’t be able to recognise it’s him.

The title track of EP comes next and No White Lies honestly feels like something that’d be perfect for a musical, that is a compliment. He manages to tell a story of human emotion effortlessly through these honest lyrics where you get to follow this complex relationship and Adams’ vocal poignant delivery makes you believe every word he is singing. This is probably my favourite track of the entire EP as it’s just got an effortless feel to it that sends a chill up my spine.

The EP ends with an entirely acoustic song called Him that feels like the right way to end the track. No big production or anything, just one man and his guitar singing an emotionally enthralling song. It’s him in a nutshell.

The whole No White Lies EP is honest, poignant and the perfect portrayal of the type of artist John Adams is. If you’re a fan of laidback and honest songwriters then look no further.

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