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On his new EP, Stones, Bones, and Skin (2014, Conscious Records), Portland-based singer-songwriter Adam Zwig channels a hypnotic and harmonious hybrid of Americana, pop, rock, folk and world music over the course of five sparkling tracks.
The title Stones, Bones and Skin echoes Zwig’s shamanistic sensibility towards music. "It's about going back to the roots of humanity,” he offers. “Music probably started with a mother singing to her baby. After that, people began banging on stones and bones and crafting drums from skins. I wanted to get back to the genesis of music with this collection." Zwig describes his approach to songwriting as “vision music.” He explains, “I see pictures, and they're connected to things I'm following. They reveal themselves to me as I'm writing."
For Stones, Bones and Skin, Zwig re-teamed with the Grammy Award-winning producers from his last release, the 2013 album Visions of The Shimmering Night - David Bianco (Bob Dylan, U2, Johnny Cash) and Stuart Sikes (The White Stripes, Loretta Lynn). Together with his talented band, including drummer Brian MacLeod (Madonna, Tears for Fears, “Tuesday Music Club” with Sheryl Crow) and bassist Davey Faragher (Elvis Costello, Elton John, Cracker), they dynamically bring this new EP to life.
The EP’s theme that situations and people are not always what they seem or what we expect them to be is reflected in the first single "Going Back to Vermont.” “It tells the story of a friend whose lover left him and ran away to New England, and follows his journey trying to find her.” Zwig continues, “He's conflicted though because something in him hopes he can't find her. There's a duality." The track has a rustic instrumentation that bristles along with Zwig's impressive delivery as the song converges on an unshakable refrain. A Top 10 hit at Adult Contemporary radio, the song opens the gateway into Stones, Bones, and Skin.
On the entrancing "Nowhere To Be Found," Zwig suggests, "We all have expectations of who other people are. We want to believe they're a certain way. This song speaks to the fallout when someone doesn't turn out to be who you thought they were."
The ebullient "Sunshine Waves" conjures the wistful whimsy of the Pacific Northwest in its organic delivery, while "Raising People" urges an uplifting vibe through a steady upbeat. Everything culminates on the remix of "Waiting on Heaven (To Make a Move)," which embraces a triumphantly soaring orchestral arrangement.
Regardless of where one’s from, or where they are headed, Zwig’s Stones, Bones and Skin captures and illuminates a little bit of what’s in everyone.