In the increasingly lifeless world of popular music, ProTools has helped musicians hide their mistakes, auto-tune has choked the humanity from their voices, and thoughtful wordsmithing has been exchanged for shallow lines that seem clever but say little. What happened to art? What happened to music? What happened to hearing a song and being moved by it? Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Adam Sams’ debut album humbly insists that the lackluster state of our current music industry simply does not have to be. Music, it tells us across its seven tracks, should be honest and vibrant. It should challenge us to do more than just exist. It should make us leave different than we were. It should move us.
Welcome to the motion.
Hailing from all over the continental United States, Adam, the son of a Navy physician, discovered music as an outlet for the unpredictability of military life. What began as a way to combat the instability of moving frequently, however, developed into more than just a hobby—it became Adam’s way to inspire and encourage people. Since beginning guitar lessons at the age of 9, his first love and primary tool to connect with his audience has been his acoustic guitar, but his love of music has led to his learning the piano, banjo, mandolin, and the drums, to name a few. Playing all of the instruments on Welcome to the Motion (with the exception of guest appearances by some talented and gracious friends), Adam’s versatility brings the album’s earnest ruminations on faith, life, and relationships to life, from the Dylan-esque harmonicas that warm “This Old House” and album opener “Nameless Race,” to the twang of his banjo on “My Faith is in the Grave.” With every note he plays and word he sings, Adam’s love of his craft imbues his music with a refreshing sincerity.
With a multitude of instruments bringing his message to life, Adam, though still young, challenges his audience to more than mere existence with a degree of wisdom, introspection, and encouragement far beyond that of his contemporaries. Eschewing easily-digestible fluff for earnest, honest words, Adam crafts lyrics that ask his audience to examine their lives and make a choice to love those who don’t seem to deserve it, to reserve judgment for others until after we’ve pointed the finger at ourselves, and to serve others even at our own expense. Songs like “Nameless Race” and “Smaller” encapsulate his ethos: That, to paraphrase author Donald Miller, we must constantly battle against the lie that life is a story about ourselves. As The Verge lauds, Welcome to the Motion “brings out a wellspring of good feeling as [Adam] shows that there are ways to move forward in life without wallowing in self-pity.”
With years of honing his skills and writing songs under his belt, Adam’s hard work has paid off, and he has had the honor of sharing the stage with a variety of bands, as well as garnering some good press along the way. Thanks to his do-it-yourself, hardworking attitude and infectious optimism, Adam has seen the fruits of his striving against the bland lifelessness of modern music as he’s had the opportunity to take his songs on the road and share the stage with contemporaries both well-known and still waiting for their breakthrough. Whether on his own or as part of Jacksonville, FL’s Don’t Sigh Daisy, Adam has had the pleasure of playing with a broad spectrum of acts ranging from The Almost’s Aaron Gillespie to Switchfoot to Young the Giant while also cultivating relationships with a number of excellent independent artists such as Jeremy Ezell and the Well Reds, Matthew Mayfield, and Mike Mains and the Branches. In addition to the rapport he has built with these artists, Adam’s music has been reviewed with high praise in Augusta, GA’s The Verge, who called his album “an excellently crafted masterpiece” and also earned a score of 3.5/5 in Jacksonville’s Christian Music Review Blog.
As popular music grows increasingly artificial and physical record sales plummet, Adam Sams wants to contribute something more permanent to the musical conversation. Adam’s heart to make creative, honest art and serve others informs every note he plays, and as you listen, he hopes that you will learn to think about your life as more than just a cog in the 9-to-5 machine. Rather than stay as you were, he hopes that you’ll find yourself wanting to make yourself and the world around you a better place. For the discontented, for the sleepless dreamers—you were made for motion. It’s time to get up and try. [+]