Members: Adrienne McCann, Colin Agnew
For Fans Of: Caetano Veloso, Joni Mitchell, Little Tybee
Near the end of 2011, Adron quietly released her second full-length effort, Organismo. At a time when most music fans were compiling their best-of lists, Adrienne McCann put out a Tropicàlia-infused, multi-lingual collection of pop songs in the dead of winter.
“It was a soft release,” McCann reflects. “We had a release show that was like kind of a cool, big party but like the actual online distribution of it was kind of a piece-by-piece effort. So yes it was kind of a relaxed sort of like ‘Oh, here you go.’”
She’s slowly continued to roll out Organismo this year, finally getting her record onto iTunes, Spotify and other online distribution services. It’s not McCann’s first time on iTunes, having sold her self-titled debut on the online 2008, but it’s her first time being flagged for explicit content.
“There are two tracks on which I say, ‘fuck,’ but it’s in a like a really positive message kind of way,” McCann jokingly recalls. “Like ‘fucking sunshine and kisses!’ Not, you know, with no commas in there, just like, sunshine and kisses…darn it. Sorry.”
There’s not much about Adron that could be considered explicit, nor do her songs warrant any sort of Parental Advisory labels. In fact, she’s quite the opposite, cursing in order to “emphasize the earnestness of the message” that she conveys. It’s an honesty that resonates throughout the lush vibrancy of her music. “Every time I try to write a song, I want it to be like as different as possible from the last song I wrote,” she says.
Despite Adron’s multi-cultural fusion and outward complexities, the Atlanta-based songwriter’s process remains straightforward and her message universal.
“Mostly [Organismo is] about God,” McCann says, “but in a very personal kind of way, not in a, obviously not in an organized religion kind of way, but in like a very personal questing kind of way. And it’s about like the feeling of God that you get just from like trees and a really good song and a really nice nap and like looking at anyone’s eyes for long enough.
“So most of it is about that kind of feeling and trying to make that feeling allowed to be a part of pop music,” she adds. “I feel like it’s very hard to do that with pop music these days. A lot of it is either sort of like sentimental in a mundane way or it’s cynical, and I’m trying to do neither of those things.”
On Organismo, Adron achieves this by drawing from a wide range of worldly influences that include ’60s Brazilian Tropicàlia as well as the American folk traditions of Joni Mitchell and Harry Nilsson. She also sings in English, French and Portuguese, using the musical characteristics of each as additional instruments in a repertoire that already features guitar, ukulele, keyboards and bamboo flute, along with the everything-and-the-kitchen-sink percussion of Colin Agnew.
“Language is sung differently. They have their own music to them,” she elaborates. “I’ll choose the language as though it were another instrument, if that makes sense? Like how it feels rhythmically and just like the tactile nature of the language.”
McCann originally studied French in high school and slowly picked up Portuguese by listening to lots of Brazilian music. Her love for these styles led her to learn a third language and to write songs in that fashion.
Adron ebbs and flows from language to language, singing in Portuguese on “Basta” and sharing her lucid dreams in French on “Evidemment.” It adds an enchanting, exotic element to the more familiar pop of McCann’s songs. She hopes those diverse sounds on Organismo convey the sincere, heartfelt sentiment that she believes is far too absent in music these days.
“I hope people get a sense of irony-free music about love and God, and I hope that they feel that that’s a good thing and not corny,” she says. “I want it to be earnest and I want it to be about something that I feel is … metaphysical and deep but really important.”