There’s a little light on / Buried in my lonely blood moon heart / Sometimes I rely on / And carry through the dark / But all my skin has turned to salt / All my bones have turned to dust / Can you hear at all / Where I’m calling from – “Where I’m Calling From”
In 2006, 20-year-old Adam Torres released his debut album Nostra Nova. The album’s 11 songs are idiosyncratic and varied – as are many great songs – with each existing as its own little world. It’s influenced by the works of visual artist Adolf Wolfli and C.G. Jung, and it’s the sound of Torres making something beautiful. With many truly breathtaking moments throughout, it feels full of promise, and is simultaneously weathered and young. A DIY self-release, Nostra Nova found deep, long-lasting roots within the small Athens, OH community at the time, but didn’t resonate farther until much later.
In 2015, Nostra Nova saw a small reissue. Called a “cult classic” by The A.V. Club, the album finally achieved its due, earning additional praise from Stereogum, VICE, Popmatters, All Music Guide, and Flavorwire, which wrote of Torres as, “…someone who was, at an early age, able to connect his own odd experiences to the concept of life itself in an almost innate way.”
New album, Pearls To Swine was recorded over eight days in January at Austin’s Cacophony Recorders, which overlooks the Colorado River valley. Working alongside co-producer and mixer Erik Wofford (Bill Callahan, Black Angels, M. Ward, Okkervil River), Torres chose the analog route, recording and mixing directly to tape to allow for more finality and less overthought. This method in turn lends a natural, warm, and almost magical realism atmosphere to the songs – like a high-stakes live show captured in a fantastical setting. The core rhythm was captured live and augmented by a few overdubs, and Torres is joined on the album by the players in his band: Thor Harris (of Swans; on conga drums, vibraphone, and percussion), Aisha Burns (violin), and Dailey Tolliver (bass/piano), with drum kit performances by Matthew Shepherd and Rodolfo Villareal III.