I spent much of yesterday listening to Pearls to Swine the quite extraordinary record by Adam Torres from 2016. It's Torres's second album, ten years on from his debut Nostra Nova. In the meantime he's been out in the wide world working in nine to fives as most of the rest of us do, but also working on his art. And it's time very well spent because Pearls to Swine is the most beautiful new record I didn't get round to hearing last year.
It has that hard-earned stillness, sparseness and purity that only the very best singer-songwriters tap their way into. Think Townes Van Zandt. Think Leonard Cohen. Think Nick Drake. Think John Martyn. Think Tim Buckley. Yes, it's really that good! Torres, begins the album, with Juniper Arms with an incredibly high-pitched falsetto swoon but settles down from that moment on for the most part onto a spectral plateau of spiritual wonder. It's a thing of beauty!