“ONE OF THE BEST SURPRISES OF THE YEAR.” -- REMEZCLA
“ENCHANTING.” -- SPIN
“A BIG SUPERTRAMP-MEETS-10CC, ‘70S POP SOUND.” -- NPR
Longtime friends Adan Jodorowsky (Adanowsky) and Xavi Polycarpe (Gush) have been musical co-conspirators for some time. When the former was looking to take his musical persona Adanowsky into the direction of pure pleasure pop, he called on the latter to help produce what would become the acclaimed 2014 album ADA. It was an easy match, given that Polycarpe had gone down the same artistic path with the pop-synth-funk of MIRA, Gush’s second album. And when Jodorowsky wanted to perform those tracks live, he brought along Polycarpe and Gush drummer Julien Boyé to serve as his backing band.
As their friendship and appreciation for each other’s art has deepened, so did their desire to make a collaborative project together. Something that fused their individual sensibilities into one cohesive and beautiful album. They finally got their wish after both men went through breakups at the same time and decided to use that somber energy to fuel what would become Adan & Xavi Y Los Imanes. The 10 song LP is a dusky and beautiful exploration of mutual appreciation and mutual heartache, with both Adan and Xavi inspiring one another to new artistic heights. A fresh start for both, this would be Xavi’s first musical endeavor outside of Gush and Adan’s first project under his own name since putting his pseudonymous alter ego Adanowsky to rest.
Both men are native to Paris, though Jodorowsky spends a fair amount of his time in Mexico City. As with the swooning Spanish-language romanticism of his 2011 album Amador, the Mexican influence feeds the lyrical direction of Adan’s tracks on Adan & Xavi. Xavi’s are primarily sung in English, as he has done with Gush since the beginning, including 2010’s Everybody’s God (nominated for a French Grammy).
The backdrop of how Adan & Xavi was recorded is just as important as the music that came out of these sessions. Joined by Los Imanes (Xavi’s brother Edouard Polycarpe on bass and Julien Boyé on drums), on Christmas day the four men decamped to a castle in the French countryside where they put together a recording studio.
Adan & Xavi is a lovely work that maintains an easy rhythm found only between old friends. Stirring piano-driven expressions like “Heartbeat” and “Un” (sung by Polycarpe in his native French) sit next to the light Latin strum of “Finalidad,” the tropical punch of “I’m Not The One,” and Jodorowsky’s lap-steel heavy ode to his friend and collaborator “Xavi.” Though their influences and recording methods are rooted in the past, Adan & Xavi Y Los Imanes is a throughly modern take on classic song craft.