Gravely throated and chock full of small town religious-adjacent allegories, Adam Winn’s self-titled EP finds a songwriter drinking from the fountain of disillusioned folkies and bottling the rest to pedal for later. Winn sounds weary, troubled, and out of luck on Adam Winn, a companion entry to the young man blues one might expect from the likes of the modern day balladeer.
It’s sometimes difficult to tell where Winn is meandering on his extended play, from the jaded theologian to the schmaltzy fool in love on “You Are,” the record’s de facto ballad. Employing sometimes juvenile imagery and clichés, it almost seems like a joke until the listener realizes that it is entirely genuine. Adam Winn shines in not pulling any punches throughout its duration.
While Winn’s storytelling sometimes comes up less than imaginative, “She says I’m a freak/but I just can’t sleep,” it may be easily overlooked for the (welcomed) and less than bloated sounds that the singer provides. Winn succeeds in forgoing the bombastic modern folk sound for a result that is very John B. Sebastian and incredibly Conor (B.) Oberst. “Dear Friend” may as well be purloined from the San Francisco flower-power pop songbook preceding the summer of love.
Who is Adam Winn? A question not necessarily answered by the singer’s expository record, one can still get the impression that Winn is scrappy, albeit perhaps a touch coquettish. A man smarter than I would postulate that Winn isn’t a stunted release, but an effort that plays it close to the vest. One can only imagine what the debut of the full length Inside Adam Winn (or whatever it may be dubbed) might entail.