SEE: Adam Stafford – ‘Erotic Thistle’: a warm and confessional folk fingerpicking gem

FALKIRK’S Adam Stafford is one of them; he’s good at stuff. Grrr. He’s a multi-instrumentalist and film-maker, who necessarily has used the purdah of lockdown to create; for what else are our culture’s guiding lights, the creatives, to do?

For him it’s proved a creatively fruitful time that has helped him fashion up an entirely new album, the brilliantly titled Diamonds of a Horse Famine, for Scotland’s Song, By Toad imprint, his musical home of some seven years. 

Digging around, having a tidy-up and a purge like we all have in that long, dark teatime of the lockdown soul, he stumbled upon a forgotten notebook full of ideas, buried underneath Tupperware; it contained snapshots of another time to unearth and bring new life to.

The first flowering, if you’ll permit me, of this Adam-2020-meets-past-Adam, is being released today: the track “Erotic Thistle”. You can watch the video down there at the end, close-focused little vignettes a lovely optical match for the track.

You’ll find it a deeply beguiling little diary of a song, great fingerpicking and bell-like adornments framing Adam’s impressionistic lyrics delivered in a voice with a little hoarse edge – he removes the batteries from his clock and yes, he does “melt down my deathmask to fashion it into a dildo”. 

“‘Erotic Thistle’ was mostly written during a period in 2010,” he says, “when I lived in Glasgow and slept for most of the day due to anxiety-ridden bouts of depression.”

It’s a lovely and warm independent folk track from an area of Hibernia that just keeps producing off-kilter and fully formed talents. 

And that lyric? Well they say that the truth is always stranger than fiction: Adam had read a story in which a woman wanted to steal Lenin’s death mask and turn it into an object of self-titillation.

“That story appealed to my very odd sense of humour,” he says.

The accompanying film was made by Aaron Shrimpton, of whose work Adam commented: “[He] became obsessed with filming flickering, dancing light on walls and floors of his house and the many spiders, dead or otherwise that populated these spaces.

“In turn he creates something beautifully hypnotic in the organically animated chiaroscuro.”

As a musical come-join-me, it’s quite an invitation, you have to say, getting a lovely balance between an instrumental tradition and candid, experimental, confessional lyricism.

Adam’s Diamonds of a Horse Famine will be released by Song, By Toad Records on digital and limited red vinyl formats on October 30th. Hey: you can place an order for it right now, over here.

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