PREMIERE: Mike Adams at His Honest Weight Does Sophisticated Power Pop in “The Lucky One”
The Indiana auteur previews his third solo LP, Casino Drone.
Mike Adams is a proud Hoosier. And even in a state whose indie-rock heritage is stronger than you might think—Bloomington is home to the Secretly Canadian/Jagjaguwar/Dead Oceans alliance, and Joyful Noise are headquartered down the road in Indianapolis—that’s not a common trait. Adams, who records for Joyful Noise under the name Mike Adams at His Honest Weight, was born in the town of Claypool, a blip-on-a-blip on the map whose major tourist attractions are the Early Apostolic Bible Training Center and Parker Gun Repair & Sales. Given the high-pop sophistication of Adams’ work and his penchant for sunny West Coast melodies marred only slightly by drizzles of minor notes, you’d be forgiven for thinking that he had his mind elsewhere. But that’s not the case. “I feel like a self-appointed torchbearer,” Adams says in a statement. “I want to turn what’s good about the Midwest into something that’s artistically valuable. I don’t want Indiana to be left behind. I want to be a part of it and try to make it better.”
While his previous records (2011’s Oscillate Wisely and 2014’s Best of Boiler Room Classics) both found their genesis in personal crisis, the forthcoming Casino Drone finds him reflecting on the calm everyday life he’s suddenly found himself living, one that makes him more like his Bloomington neighbors than your average touring indie rocker.
Today, we’re pleased to be premiering “The Lucky One,” the latest single from Casino Drone. The track grinds on a chunky rhythm, with Adams’ bright melody taking on a copperish twinge as he sings the title phrase. “Out of the fog and into the sun,” he intones, the smallest hint of fatigue in his voice suggesting a victory that’s taken its toll. After the first chorus, the song falls into a clattering pit of sustained cymbals and buzzing guitars while the rhythm section keeps the big beat moving. It’s a moment that suggests Bitchin’ Bajas working their way through a Sinatra standard, and the effect, with Adams’ words still hanging in the air, make it feel like a solemn—but ultimately winsome—reflection on how he got to where he is. You can give it a listen below.
Casino Drone track list
“Hobart, Chuck Manson and Jim”
“The Lucky One”
“Underneath The Door”
“On The Fumes”
“Keep My Heart Alive”
Casino Drone is out May 20 on Joyful Noise.