Icarus is my third full-length original album, released in April 2013. It is also the title of the first single from said album. Both the single and album were released through Distinctive Records, and both feature strings performed by The City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. You can listen to and buy it via the Distinctive Records page, iTunes, Amazon, Trackitdown, Spotify and pretty much any other major on-line music retailer you can think of.
Following on from Lightfields (2010), and his collection of ambient works ‘And All Is As It Should Be'(2012), British electronic producer Adam Fielding’s is set to return to Distinctive with a new album titled ‘Icarus’. As ever, Fielding’s productions are rich with drama, space and intention. His work always carries a distinctly cinematic narrative; a trait that’s picked up by the film production houses that regularly champion his work. Opening the album is the title track and first single off the album. It’s a vocal opus charged with breathy pads, smart string arrangements and snappy beats. ‘Fireworks’ is a powerful follow-on, with an undulating synth bass line and expansive tonal work. For ‘Are Lights Approaching’, he takes a thumping 4×4 beat and envelops it in his signature textures, topping it off with an edgy vocal delivery that gives a raw, low-slung feel. Next up, ‘All We Ever Wanted’ introduces some acoustic guitar tones and yearning lyrics to the mix to create a haunting ballad. ‘Somewhere Out There’ is an ambient piece, just vocals and ethereal pads on this one that builds to a cathartic end. ‘Hiding From January’ is purely instrumental, showcasing Fielding’s intricate beat programming skills. Next, we have ‘Out of Reach’. It’s a propulsive stomper with a darker, industrial space-age feel. Fielding’s effected vocals adding to the crystalline finish. ‘High Rise Downfall’ uses a forceful broken beat pattern to punctuate beautiful synthetic atmospheres before some warm piano and guitar chords kick in to switch the vibe. ‘Break Me Down’ carries on the piano themes,this time paired with dynamic ‘rock-esque’ beats and chord progressions to make one of the album’s proper epics. ‘A Fire In The Sky’ is a moody and contemplative, acting as the level-setting precursor to one of the more accomplished vocal tracks on the album, ‘Ashes By Dawn’. Fielding’s vocal takes centre stage here, and it’s nothing short of breathtaking. As a final reprise, he delivers a short yet stunning string arrangement using the movements of the opening ‘Icarus.’ A fitting end to a record.
In late 2010, I was signed to Distinctive Records with a deal regarding the re-release of my first two albums (Distant Activity & Lightfields), and the release of my as-then untitled third original album. From a purely personal level, this was a huge deal for me – Distinctive Records has been home to some of my own most favourite & influential artists, so to be offered a release alongside some of my own personal heroes was quite a daunting prospect. This led to a lengthy process of trying to come up with a sound that sound be a suitable follow-up to my first two albums – something referential, almost celebratory of my own style… but not derivative.
I have a habit when writing original albums to name the album itself after the track that gets it all started. Such was the case here only, unlike with my first two albums, I didn’t really know it until several months after I had completed the title track! Once again I was keen to avoid this album just being a re-tread of the same ideas I had explored on earlier works, but I was also keen to continue my merging of electronic and organic instrumentation. After spending several months working on other ideas for the album, I came back to Icarus and realised that, not only was it the song that tied all of my ideas together, but it was scarily accurate in highlighting the ideas I wanted to represent… a balance of light vs. dark, man reaching beyond his grasp, a great rise followed by a great fall. It was a perfect fit.
A great deal of the album was written and produced in 2011-2012. By the end of 2011 I had a very rough outline of the overall album structure comprised of a mixture of unfinished ideas, unpolished demos and some tunes that just didn’t quite make the grade. 2012 was spent refining the ideas that worked, maintaining a coherent style and sound and continuing to write new material. The structure was there, and the ideas were in place. The overall album follows a more steady narrative than both Distant Activity & Lightfields, featuring a statement of intent, a steady rise with elements of darkness followed (after some contemplation) by a great fall and the inevitable crash, punctuated with moments of reflection. Ashes By Dawn is very much the embodiment of the overall light vs. dark theme, with apocalyptic themes clashing with personal redemption and a strange sense of accomplishment.
Icarus is also my first solo record to feature a live orchestra. In late 2012 I worked with Pete Whitfield on arranging and scoring some string parts for Icarus, utilising a combination of some early ideas and a hearty amount of references. After some back-and-forwarding Pete was able to come up with the string parts you hear today, performed by The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. To say I was blown away when I heard the final recordings would be quite an understatement!
Icarus was released in April 2013 through Distinctive Records.