Adam Remnant has been an integral part of the growing music scene in southeastern Ohio for more than a decade, coming up fronting the Athens-based, folk-rock band Southeast Engine. As the principal singer and songwriter of the band, Adam and his bandmates garnered critical acclaim from publications such as Paste Magazine, Pitchfork, NPR, American Songwriter, AV Club, and more. After releasing five albums and touring across North America, the band wound down and Remnant began charting his way forward as a solo artist.
Following the release of his EP, When I Was A Boy, in 2016, Adam is now wrapping up production on his first full-length album, Sourwood. In the video heading the Kickstarter campaign launched for this album, Adam describes the origin of the album as ‘rooted in the Midwest and recorded in an Ohio basement.’ For those of us that have been listening to Southeast Engine since high school – and anyone who was able to see Adam perform at Undercurrent earlier this year – this album is eagerly awaited.
“The songs of Sourwood were birthed in that intersection of youth and adulthood where dreams and realities confront one another,” said Adam. “The songs detail the desire to find potential opportunities beyond the horizon while feeling the gravity of home. The album drifts back and forth between those push & pull forces of home & travel as one might drift between a waking and dream state. Somewhere between those two states is a place called Sourwood.”
To get a taste of the album, check out this basement tape demo video of ‘Carpenter’s Daughter.’
The album was original conceived as Southeast Engine came to a close. While Adam and his wife started a family with the birth of their two daughters, he began to teach himself the art of audio recording, setting up a studio you see above in his basement. After many long nights and weekends writing, arranging, and recording, the reels of tape slowly filled with tracks – and Adam was eager to play live shows again.
“I was itching to play live again, and was lucky enough to assemble a great band consisting of my brother, Jesse Remnant on bass & harmonies, Ryan Stolte-Sawa on violin, keyboards, & harmonies, and Jon Helm on drums,” said Adam. “I took some of the songs from the recording process and released the When I Was a Boy EP in 2016. The band and I got better and played shows in support of the release.” Meanwhile, Adam continued working on the full-length album, bringing his band members in to record numerous overdubs. “This record became a more collaborative effort with their numerous contributions, adding more depth and musicality than I could muster on my own.”
Adam had a vision of having Sourwood pressed to vinyl along with CD and digital release, but knew that would add to the cost. A Kickstarter campaign was launched on February 26th, meeting its goal in only one week. “I’m so grateful to have an audience that was able to support me,” Adam said. “With this being my first full-length record under my own name, it feels great to know I have an audience from my previous efforts who are ready to help me in this new phase. There’s enough expenses as an artist to simply record an album. By the time you get to thinking about pressing vinyl or printing t-shirts, funds can be scarce. I feel quite relieved to have those costs covered up front.”
With the album funded and the weather warming up, Adam and his band are ready to hit the road. “I’ve got a ten day tour in the works for the summer and numerous weekends out of town. I love playing and traveling with the band – having a new record to promote makes it that much sweeter,” he said. The ten day tour will take the band through the Northeast, but you can also catch them closer to home. “We are playing a great festival in Yellow Springs, OH called Springsfest on July 7th, which features Guided by Voices, Twin Peaks, and Counterfeit Madison this year.” (Keep your eyes peeled for tour date announcements on Adam’s website and social media!)
When asked what he enjoys the most about performing, Adam said it is the simple act of connecting with people. “I get to connect with my band musically, and I get to share the music we’ve worked so hard on with an audience. I love those moments when you sense that the audience is locked in with you and the other musicians on stage. That feeling is so hard to beat.”
Living in Athens, Adam didn’t consider himself to be super connected to the Mid-Ohio Valley’s music scene until more recently. “I’ve been a fan and friend of Todd Burge, who was a supporter of my previous band, Southeast Engine, for as long as I can remember making music. I recently got to connect with more musicians at the Undercurrent Festival in Marietta earlier this year as well,” he said. “There’s seems to be a strong singer-songwriter element to the scene with influences of folk, rock, and country. I’m looking forward to performing more regularly in the area with the release of my album.”
In the day and age of Spotify and streaming, it’s still just as important to support our local and regional musicians. “There is really a rich experience to be had by enjoying the talent in your community because there truly are people creating great music and art,” Adam said. “It doesn’t only benefit the musicians, it also benefits the audience and the community.”
We encourage you to support Adam by checking out his soon-to-be released album, Sourwood! You can pre-order the album now on vinyl or disc, or digitally.