Strictly speaking we're only supposed to cover Albums and EPs these days, so maybe an EP entitled 'THIS IS NOT AN EP' should have got immediately rejected for not meeting the criteria. But of course at 3 tracks long it is 'sort of' an EP, and Adrian Cornelius has actually created a huge issue by releasing something so brilliant on January 1st - because to be honest, the musical year can only go downhill from here.
Of course that's a very negative perspective, there are some fabulous releases to look forward to - and a full year of non Covid impacted live dates. But Adrian Cornelius has created a small but well informed buzz with this release, partly because it's so surprising, given this is his debut.
Except of course, it's not quite his debut, as very loyal Nordic Music Review readers will be aware, because we actually featured him disguised as Adrian Vikan a couple of years back, thanks to a curious but interesting 'actual' debut track entitled 'Taxi'. And his reinvention is most welcome, because he's taken some of those progressive influences we saw in that early release, yet created something fresh, vibrant and immensely listenable.
Those last 3 words have made me chuckle to myself, because the opening of 'Social' creates immediate comparisons to Cardiacs, a band who, if the established music press of the era were to be believed, were anything but fresh, vibrant and listenable. But of course it's since transpired that those 'critics' were of course all feckless idiots, and the band are not only now credited with inspiring a whole range of artists, whilst a batch of new young bands and songwriters are starting to release material citing them as influences.
I digress. Because what I like most about 'THIS IS NOT AN EP' is that Adrian Cornelius has stamped his own personality on the tracks with a simple joyous energy offered straight from the start, opening with a playful melodic musical theme, before the vocals kick in with an irresistible pop tune, the combination of which I promise will result in you dancing manically around the house. For sure the stop / start middle section will leave you suspended in mid air, before crashing down in a heap on the floor, but you'll get up battered, bruised and with a huge smile on your face.
'Bad Boy' probably demonstrates more conventional progressive influences, with a softer style to open, but again the key is the infectious vocal melody, this time backed up by some thumping instrumental sections. with relatable lyrics about the pressures of growing up.'Pass Me a Lighter' is slightly different again, possibly the most fun yet also the most inaccessible, video game themes meet power pop, with fleeting harmonised 60's melodies and countless twists and turns. And somehow he just about keeps a coherence to the track, probably because there's just so many tunes packed in to the song that there's always something appealing going on.
I've sent 'THIS IS NOT AN EP' to a few people and they've all come back telling me it's outstanding, and they're all right. But I can't deny I sent it to a target audience, former deputy editor Nick once attended a Cardiacs gig with me and stood opened mouthed with bemusement for 90 minutes, and is therefore excluded from being sent good music ever again. So I accept there are some who may find this music just too leftfield, because it doesn't always stick to a formula or conventional musical structure. But forget that stuff, just listen and enjoy the tunes, because Adrian Cornelius has written something utterly joyous and hugely rewarding.
Find him on Instagram and Bandcamp.