Charismatic and warm hearted, Adam Melchor is the LA-based singer-songwriter playing our heart strings like a harp. His debut album ‘Here Goes Nothing’ explores the inner intricacies of Adam with beautiful production and heart on his sleeve lyricism, creating a debut album that is nothing short of enchanting.
Photography by Daniel Topete
Written by Oli Spencer
Ticking off bucket-list experiences like finding himself Post Malone-adjacent, singing backing vocals for the Rockstar's Saturday Night Live performance, and joining forces with the angelic Lennon Stella for their 2021 duet ‘Light Year’, it’s clear the only direction Adam is heading in is up. Yet, despite the rising fame and A-list collaborations, his biggest pinch me moment so far as an artist was the announcement of his debut album, ‘Here Goes Nothing’. “That was such a large moment for me…” he tells me, “It was this sort of thing where I knew it was happening for so long, but just the fact that everybody else also knew on that day was almost like experiencing it for the first time.” I’m certain the exhilaration is only growing, with today marking the release of ‘Here Goes Nothing’ - an appropriate title, as it’s exactly what we said before listening, knowing all too well the punch in the heart it would be.
Releasing ‘Turnham Green’ earlier this year, and more recently ‘I’m Ready’ and ‘Cry’, he has been gradually unravelling the layers of the album, showcasing his vulnerable penmanship. The final offering from the album, a goosebump-inducing live performance video of ‘I’m Afraid I Love You’, alongside Kenny Beats - showcasing his perfect balance between spine chills and the comfort of a warm hug. Tender, beautiful and striking all at once, we found it was very hard to turn such a special album into words - it just feels like the perfect album to listen to while walking in the rain.
We set out to get to know a little bit about Adam… and we really got to know him. In between chatting about umbilical cords and nose hair clippers, we found out about his biggest pinch-me moment so far, bringing back the Peaky Blinders-esque three piece suit - and his debut album ‘Here Goes Nothing’.
GET TO KNOW: Adam Melchor
What is your favourite lyric you’ve ever written?
Honestly… I used to do this thing when I would play at bars and stuff and I’d ask the audience to… literally eating their dinner to give me two words, and I would just make up a song on the spot which is pretty boring. Someone came up to me one time afterwards and he was like “hey you didn’t use my word” and I was like what was your word? They were like “umbilical cord” and I was like how am I supposed to do that? So I went home and I thought about it and I was like how can I fit this word umbilical cord, so it goes...
“I wasn’t perfect when I was born, the doctors didn’t tell my parents,
wow you nailed it when they cut my umbilical cord”.
That’s probably my favourite lyric – the song is not out but that’s definitely the number one for me.
Do they know that you’ve used that now?
Oh yeah. My friend Rach is the one who said it. Yeah, he’s very proud.
Have you found a perfect writing spot?
I feel like the perfect writing spot is just in sunlight. Anywhere where there’s actual sunlight happening, even on a grey day, I just really like being able to be outside while writing at all times. It can happen pretty much anywhere, if you bring a book to the park or something, or just in the backyard or whatever - but that’s where I find the best. Honestly the best place now that I think about it, the best place to write is just on a walk. If you’re just on a walk and thinking of things, that’s when I think life really hits you. Take it all in, yeah. I become Edgar Allen Poe when I start walking honestly. I have my quill, my spectacles, haha.
What's been your biggest pinch-me moment for you as an artist so far?
I would say my biggest pinch me moment up until this point was actually announcing my first album ‘Here Goes Nothing’. That was such a large moment for me… it was this sort of thing where I knew it was happening for so long, but just the fact that everybody else also knew on that day was almost like experiencing it for the first time. I feel very lucky to do what I do so, even to be in a position to announce it is really cool, I’m excited.
Speaking of the album - if it was a cocktail what would the ingredients be?
I would say… an old fashioned. Just very like, brown liquor with a little bit of the orange peel. I’m trying to think of what else is in there… the bitters, but very simple… something that’s just like a good go-to but is sort of any kind of drink that you’d sit by yourself, while sort of being very contemplative.
One cube, like one of those massive cubes. Just one so it can slowly melt.
One song you wish you wrote?
Wow. You know what, there is a song called ‘Funtimes in Babylon’ by Father John Misty. Every time I hear it I’m like you son of a bitch, you did it, so good! It’s like the first song on his first album and that song to me is a perfect song.
Do you have a prized possession?
Hahaha yes I do, right now on tour my prized possession is my nose hair clipper. It truly is. I have this thing, it’s like an analogue… you don’t plug it in. It’s like this Japanese contraption where you stick it in and you clip it and it doesn’t hurt. I’ve tried all of it, you know, my dad is from Ecuador and my mom is Jewish - so there’s gonna be a lot of hair everywhere you know. But this one, it doesn’t pull and it doesn’t grow back weird and I’ve tried doing the waxing when you stick it in and yank it out… but I remember doing it and like the next day I immediately got a cold, I think because my nose hairs weren’t there to protect me? So my friend suggested this one and it’s literally my prized possession. I love it so much; I bring it everywhere… although I don’t have it here with me, otherwise I would definitely show you.
If your life was a sitcom, what would it be called?
Probably ‘More Like Melch’. A lot of my life is… most of the best things in my life have happened by accident, and because I’ve been in really weird situations. Just so in those situations when I feel really uncomfortable, I’m just like you got it, just stay true to who you are and it will really work out. So, I feel like ‘More Like Melch’ would be pretty good.
If you could revive one fashion trend, what would it be?
Honestly, the three-piece suit. Like imagine everybody wearing a three-piece suit like going back to Peaky Blinders days you know, that would be sick. And there’s really nothing stopping us from doing it, but I watched Elvis on the plane and those guys are just dressed so nice. But like everybody, the milkmen are just dressed up and it’s like why not. That’s what I wish would come back. You look back at old photos of most people’s grandparents and they look like they could be in the 1975, all these press shots you know. It’s insane, it's like oh yeah is that the bassist? Like no, that’s my grandpa and he was an iron mill worker. Oh cool, you know he looks familiar… That sort of style is really impressive. I wonder if people smelled a lot worse then…like I don’t know how many suits you could afford you know. I feel like people were definitely smelling a little worse. So if we were going back to that fashion we’d have to go really heavy on the deodor.
What instrument do you wish you could play?
Honestly I wish I could play the violin; it looks so cool and it’s so sweet. You could play wet as pussy on there and you’d be like this is the most beautiful song ever, so. Or! Do you ever see that instrument where it’s the guy who makes all the sounds in the movies, that would be amazing. I don’t even know what that’s called.
What record helped the most during lockdown?
I’m gonna be selfish and just say my own just because I was making it the whole time so it really meant a lot to me. It was something that I could really focus on. In terms of other artists, I really got back into musicals which is really strange, I don’t know what happened. I feel like everyone was kind of going back to their past and finding things that were really comforting, so yeah I was listening to a lot of musicals during the pandemic.
What's been inspiring you outside of music lately?