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A Magazine for Sheffield

Adam Zejma Rusher Cutting, For Keiji

A project for those feeling weary, Zejma’s new LP merges emotional vulnerability with experimental folktronica, showing an expert understanding of texture and space.

Released: 13 January 2023
Rusher Cutting, For Keiji

Returning with his longest body of work yet, Rusher Cutting, For Keiji is a melancholic menagerie of Adam Zejma’s frustrations and struggles to cope with the modern world.

Taking a more restrained approach than his last release, 2020’s Cut & Come Again, the Sheffield-based Zejma takes a backseat and lets the music do the talking. Incorporating everything from 808 drum machines and pizzicato-style chord stabs to vocoders, elegant piano and synth bass, his experimentation with sound and emotion truly shines through.

Whether in the daring juxtaposition of church organ and harsh, shoegaze guitar noise on 'How Things Look Now', the beautifully nostalgic opener 'Best in Show' or the overblown bass and off-kilter stylings of 'One Thing', leaving his heavily processed voice as an instrument unto itself, Zejma’s expert understanding of texture and space provide a strong emotive foundation for this LP.

Lyrically, Zejma focuses on struggles within his own life. His relationship with technology and tradition is tested on the mesmerising 'Bole Hills', his fear of the future explored on the punchy 'One Thing', and a feeling of isolation in all aspects of life conveyed on the harrowing closer, 'Unused Wood'. The latter's isolated stanza, “I thought I’d feel good / Batten down the hatches with unused wood,” really stands out on album full of memorable one-liners.

The shimmering sadness of the record reaches its peak with 'Catechised'. A slow build of rugged acoustic guitars, synthesiser and wonderfully sombre horns – played excellently by Tom McCormick of Acid Mass and Salt Pig – creates a half-dissonant sound not dissimilar to that of Black Country, New Road. The build-up is worth the wait, as when the bouncy drums and earnest vocals enter the fray, it hits just that little bit harder.

A project for those feeling weary, tired and a bit overwhelmed, Zejma’s emotional vulnerability and these experimental folktronica instrumentals merge into a cohesive collection of tracks. Rusher Cutting, For Keiji leaves him as an artist to look out for in the future.

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