Singled Out: Adam Masterson's Time Bomb

Keavin Wiggins | 02-20-2023

Adam Masterson Album cover art

Adam Masterson just released his brand new album, "Time Bomb," and to celebrate we asked him to tell us about the record's title track (which also just got an official video). Here is the story:

I came up with the title first. I was trying to think of a potential title for an album and kept the title in the back of my mind. I wrote the music during the first lockdown. I was staying in a music studio which had a piano so the composition came together on keys. When I came to the chorus I remembered the title I had and put the two things together. I liked the idea of time as a metaphor and the tension it can build up in our lives. I recorded the song remotely and via correspondence with musicians out of the necessity of Covid restrictions. This forced me to work in a new way, but I really enjoyed the experience as it gave the recording a unique flavour to open the album.

I think the title immediately gave some drama to the song. I think the pressures of time and the way it can assault the nervous system was on my mind. I could see the delicate battery of nerves and cells like a circuit board in our bodies that could blow up at any time like the straw that broke the camel's back. The first line I got was "listening to the all-night DJ, nothing makes her feel this way" after seeing the Clint Eastwood movie on TV 'Play Misty For Me' but I thought it was too obscure so I scrapped it, but it gave me something to think about, a way in. Later the Stone Roses song "She Bangs The Drum" came on the radio and the line "the way she plays there are no words" made me think we can turn or look to someone as a relief from time - as a way out of time, out of the time trap.

I got the last line first and that finished the song. I remembered a picture I'd seen of a soldier from a bomb disposal unit, on an empty evacuated city street calmly approaching an unexploded time bomb. They called the picture 'The Long Walk.' The picture had a strange ring of destiny to it that's in each of our lives, despite the high drama, the eye of the storm is always calm. These are just some of the things I remember about trying to conjure up the lyrics but if I'm to think about how I connect with the song on a more personal level, honestly, I'd say as a musician or song maker, so much of our time is spent submerged in the work, building the material much of which is done alone, you can find yourself out of fuel and on empty street for many miles of the journey. It's only in onstage performance or in the studio and releasing new music that all these combustible elements break the surface and find their fire, and that's always a positive.

For the video, we kept things very simple. Anna [Gabriel] shot me singing the song with a backdrop and spotlight and we found stock footage that went with the imagery of the song. We edited the footage together and the whole process was fun and felt very natural.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself below and learn more about the album here

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