Album Review: Adir L.C. – Basket Star

Multi-instrumentalist Adir L.C. returns on Friday, May 17 with his newest indie folk-rock record, Basket Star, released on Birdwatcher Records. It’s a complex and enticing album, yet despite the incredibly intricate layers of sound, Adir maintains a faithful honesty to himself and his craft throughout.

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Album artwork by Gregory Moncada.

Basket Star‘s defining feature is its complexity; each track’s intricate layers of rhythm and sound are hypnotizing and luscious, and while the music is certainly not light, Adir maintains a buoyant sound throughout the record. This is represented best on “Reacting,” where the instrumentals between verse and chorus are nothing short of decadent as thick brass serves as a strong base for sweet, smooth guitar and vocals.

Despite this incredible intricacy, however, Adir manages to keep his music sounding honest and genuine. There’s an authenticity to both his music and his lyrics as he sings about what is necessary to give and what it means to create art in a modern world. The occasional intensity of the topic and the music does not negate the lightheartedness of Adir’s sound, however, and the joy generated in creating the music is palpable throughout.

Basket Star‘s cohesion is impressive. Though it was recorded in a variety of makeshift studios (“Brooklyn apartments and practice spaces, an aunt’s house in Vermont, a studio outside Binghamton, New York, and more,” according to Adir’s Bandcamp page), there is a consistent folk-rock sound throughout, and it is distinctly unique in its opulent intricacy.

All of this straightforwardness and complexity culminates in “Getting Home,” the seventh track and a standout on the record. It’s a little slower than the rest, though it is highly representative of the music spread across the other 11 songs. The track feels transcendent as guitar and percussion and horns and vocals combine in a truly lush track, and group vocals add a sacred quality as a chorus sings with Adir, “I’m not the only one here.” The song ends with a sweeping horn solo set against a background of folky guitar.

“Big Bad,” too, showcases Adir’s strengths well. The driving, thumping percussion, heavily featured in the beginning, drops out to highlight simple guitar and vocals during the first verse, and between verses, there is a beautifully rich, lilting indie folk riff.

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Photo by Adam Kolodny. 

There is no doubt that Basket Star is a long record with its 12 tracks, the majority of which clock in over three minutes. However, it’s difficult to keep track of the passing time as the record progresses; its simple folk melodies are charming enough, but when combined with skilled guitar work, percussion, horns, synth, mandolin and what seems like a dozen other instruments, the effect is mesmerizing.

Adir L.C.’s Basket Star will be released on Friday, May 17 on Birdwatcher Records and can be preordered on Bandcamp. In the meantime, check out the record below:

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