Singer-songwriter Adam Hambrick proved to be a big hit when he performed at C2C back in 2019.
It marked the first time Hambrick had been to the UK and thanks to the pandemic he hasn’t been able to make it back here yet. Earlier this year he released his six-track EP ‘The Flipsides’, giving fans a varied collection of songs that showcased his incredible versatility.
I caught up with Adam recently to talk about the EP, discuss his time in the UK and find out when we might be able to get our hands on a full-length album…
How are things in Nashville at the moment?
Restaurants and bars are open at a limited capacity so we’re not locked down, which is good. I’m not going to say it’s business as usual because there’s still a lot of people in town who are not writing in person. You’re still writing a lot over Zoom, which really bums me out. It’s hard not being in the room with people, you don’t feel the music the same way when you can’t write in person. It’s kind of tough.
Writing over Zoom seems to be very much a love/hate thing for artists with people falling on one side or the other…
Yeah, for me it’s more efficient, but it’s less efficient because when I’m at somebody else’s house or in their studio we write the song and then I sing the vocal, and then we’re done. Or at least I’m done (laughs) I know it’s different for the producer who does the track. It’s hard for me to feel like I’m on top of anything. It feels like there’s all these loose ends everywhere and on top of that, I don’t feel like I’m writing my best stuff. I’ve written some really good songs I’m really proud and I’m really excited about, but for the most part, it’s hard for me to be dialed in and feel like I’m doing my best work.
You’re so used to travelling and being inspired by being on the road, I guess when you’re locked down it’s hard to really tap into that creativity and find inspiration…
Yeah, you can only write so much stuff about where we are in life right now. If anything, it’s almost a good thing to be slowed down just to know that you can. I think there’s something to just feeling stopped and feeling like there’s nothing you can do about it. On my best days right now, I just see that there’s nothing I can do about it so why not just enjoy my family, enjoy my kids and enjoy being where I’m at; feet on the ground for a little bit.
Once we get out of this pandemic, I think a lot of people are going to wish they’d appreciated this time more but it’s so hard when you have no idea when the end is coming…
Yeah and also the opposite is true. There’s several friends (I have) who have just decided they don’t want to be on the road anymore. My guitar player, he told me a few weeks ago, ‘hey, man, I’ve been off the road for a year now and I haven’t done that since I was 15. I think I’m gonna stay off the road’. He’s gonna go back to grad school. I think there’s a lot of people right now who arejust understanding what’s important and what’s not. I’ve heard the distinction drawn about what’s essential versus what’s important. We can chase what’s important all the time and a lot of times, we leave what’s essential out, because what’s essential is just going to continue to be there. A lot of times, we take our family for granted, or close friends, or even the silly things that we do to make us feel like ourselves; we take those for granted and feel like it’s almost self indulgent but really it’s essential. We chase all the important things. I hope what happens for most people is we see what is essential versus what is important but you can live without that. For me, I feel like I’m maybe coming into focus a little bit on that more than I was maybe.
You released your EP ‘The Flipsides’ recently. It must have been weird puttin that out during this time. How do you feel about releasing it now?
We recorded this music a long time ago, like two and a half, almost three years ago at this point. We recorded it as I was like starting my journey as an artist so now to have it out it feels like an accomplishment. As far as like how to feel about it. I’m just pumped that music is out and that people can hear it and that people can find me because I’ve worked so hard on it. The bads are what they are. 2020 put us all back. This was supposed to come out last year and we were supposed to be going on tour on the other side of it. There was just supposed to be all this stuff and then it just dried up. We’d had to do what everybody else did. We just had to be creative. We had to figure out something that we could do that’s a little bit different, because that’s kind of my brand. We did this series of flip sides where we did two songs at a time and made them like mini records. The visuals going around them all had a theme. The third installment became the EP and they all rolled into one and then became ‘The Flipsides’. I feel like it shows a range of my influences and a range of the music that I like to make. You can see some rock influence, and you can see some almost R&B/pop music influence Meanwhiles, it’s rooted in the songwriting that makes Country music Country music. That’s what I love about it. I think it’s really unique in that regard.
The EP really shows off your versatility as an artist and the many different sides to your abilities. The song I can get enough of is ‘The Longer I Lay Here’ featuring Jillian Jacqueline. What was the origin of that song?
I wrote that song with a couple of the guys from LANCO – Tripp and Chandler. I was on tour with them one weekend and we were in Wichita, Kansas. It’s just the most America place we could have been, flat land everywhere, as far as you can see, and wheat fields… classic Kansas. We were outside of this building that looked like a dome, it was a skating rink from the 50s and 60s that they converted into a music venue. It was hot and sunny outside. I was out writing with them that weekend and we’d been writing LANCO songs. Tripp and Chandler suggested we wrote an Adam Hambrick song. I had this title that I came up with that day. Chandler had this cool guitar riff and we just ping ponged off each other. We wrote this song that I thought was cool. I took it to my producer and he suggested it could be a cool feature thing. Jillian was a friend of ours and he was like, ‘dude, you should get Jillian on this’, which I thought was a great idea. She never takes the lead on the song but there’s something that her voice does in the song with our voices together… it’s like a one plus one makes three kind of thing. Her voice is one thing, my voice is one thing, but when they’re together, I feel like it just explodes in a really cool way. I love the song.
The last time we saw you in the UK was 2019 for C2C wasn’t it?
That was the first and only. I’ve been itching to get back and then 2020 happened.
I remember coming to see you above All Bar One and the crowd for you was packed. What was that experience like?
It was a blast. It’s just one of my favorite experiences I’ve ever had playing music. That Spotlight Stage was just unbelievable. We were playing for 20,000 people, when else am I going to get to play with 20,000 people? I’m not. Everyone was so eager to be around Country music and be around the Nashville thing. It was really special. It was cool for me to get to play my songs and show myself to people. The other side of that was it felt like I was an ambassador for Nashville. That’s really special to me. Nashville and America and Country music and Arkansas, where I’m from, they’re all deeply a part of me. When something is deeply a part of you, you love to share it. It felt like I had everything to share. Nobody knew anything about me. It was this really cool thing to just get to open up and show people something that they hadn’t seen before. That was that was probably the coolest part of experience.
Your name came up in so many conversations after C2C and you definitely made an impression. Hopefully we can get you back in 2022?
I hope so. London is a special place. History, over specifically the last 100 years, London has been a big centre of world culture. A lot of the biggest happenings, London was at the centre of it. Just like being in a place with so much history… nothing in America is more than 300 years old. Going to a place with such a rich history, you feel it when you walk through the streets. I really enjoyed my time there. I’m a fan of history. I’m a fan of stuff that stands the test of time and London’s that.
What does the rest of 2021 look for you right now?
I don’t have it in me to wait and see. I’m working on figuring out what the next release is. How do we how do we do that? Is it a full record? Radio in America, that’s a part of it and when are we gonna go back to radio because that’s the big driver for us over here. I’m trying to make next steps with that in mind. It’s almost one day at a time. It really is. I do have some shows on the calendar. I’m playing some shows in May that I’m fired up about. I’ve got some shows in June and July so there’s stuff that’s popping up back on the calendar. I’m just eager to get back and hit the road hard.
I really want to hear a full album. Having these six songs is keeping me satisfied for now but I’m keen to hear more…
We’ve got more in the cans coming your way. At this point I have a full record worth of music out there. You have the six songs (on the EP) and there’s ‘Forever Ain’t Long Enough’, ‘Rocking All Night Long’, ‘All You, All Night, All Summer’, ‘Between Me and the End of the World’ and ‘Midnight in Montgomery’. That’s 10 tracks that are out there at that point. If people want to make a record of it and listen, I feel like that’s a good snapshot of where I’ve been so far. I love listening to music as a full record. I love when artists put music out as a full record and there’s visuals around and there’s videos and it becomes a more full interactive experience. That’s the kind of artists that I want to be. I’m with you. I’m hopeful that that we can put put together a full record and make that happen soon.
That’s a great idea. I’m not really bought into the streaming generation. I’m very much of the mindset that I want to listen to music the way the artists intended it to be listened to…
I’m with you. I’m not really either. It’s a new mindset but the fact is we recorded all those songs basically together. The only two songs that we didn’t record out of this batch were ‘Midnight in Montgomery’ and ‘Between Me and the End of the World’. Everything other than that, we recorded at the same time. It was all meant to be together but the way release patterns work, it just didn’t work out that way.
I also need your music on vinyl. It was made to be listened to on that format…
We’re gonna do that. It’s a matter of time. It’s gotta be the right time.
Adam Hambrick’s ‘The Flipsides’ EP is out now. Watch Adam performing the EP live below: