The sound of Richman's recorded music is lush and layered as if there was an arsenal of rockers behind him. But there isn't. Instead, there is just one young, versatile newcomer, playing every instrument and performing the sonic experiments of producer, engineer and mixer - in a suburban basement.
The story begins with a boy who was stricken with a severe case of pop culture fever. Growing up in the cultural vacuum of Allentown, Pennsylvania, Richman made it through the childhood and teenage years with one ear to the radio and the other to a multi-track tape recorder. In his formative years he drew his inspiration from the Monkees, Nine Inch Nails, Michael Jackson and Nirvana, among others.
After a year of college at the obsessively bureaucratic George Washington University, Richman began pursuing his music career and writing a ream of precociously catchy songs. With an acoustic debut album made in his apartment he quit school, packed up his Geo Prism and toured the country with axe in hand, playing mostly for small college audiences and building an active fan base of student programmers and their roommates, who were usually dragged to the shows.
It was only after a large financial investment and nine months of collaborating with a well-established production company and major-label session players that Richman realized he was passing on the reigns of so many of the creative aspects that the result was uncomfortably glossy and impersonal. The project was scrapped. At scratch again, that's when Richman imagined building his own studio and taking control over everything from arranging to drumming to mixing.
Playing for an audience with just a guitar in hand is Richman's familiar scene. But with a spoonful of millennial-pop sparkles from the studio, the sound is "shiny, synthy and distorted," he says. And the lyrics? Sometimes hurling barbs and sometimes stroking the belly of a kitten, Richman's lyrics can be angry, serene or exuberant but never half-assed, and never mindless.
Adam's music isn't going to fall into any absolute genre. With traces of pop, punk, and rock n roll, he makes records for listeners who steer clear from the skip button. Sure, any of his tracks are excellent on their own, but in series they invariably make up a perfected ebb and flow of mood and style from the frenetic to the tranquil.