Adrian Glynn and Fringe Percussion
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Adrian Glynn and Fringe Percussion

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2007 | INDIE

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2007
Band Alternative Folk




"An Evening of True Folk Entertainment and Storytelling"

Anza Club-March 18, 2011
By Kristi Alexandra

If opening act Adrian Glynn was going to be any indication of Friday’s three-band soiree at the Anza Club, we were in for an evening of true folk entertainment and storytelling; and along with Glynn, both the Sumner Brothers and budding band Portage and Main, who were celebrating their CD release, delivered just that.

Glynn put on an eerily electrifying one-man show, as he seamlessly managed a looped drum track that punctuated his flawless chords and arpeggios. Crowd members were silently transfixed by Glynn’s ability to carry the show alone. That was until the solo songwriter ended his set with a camp-style song that had the audience singing along, showing that they weren’t exactly first-time listeners.

By the time the ever-eclectic Sumner Brothers took stage, the venue had filled to capacity. Despite the room being cramped with potentially unruly drunks, the boys had no trouble captivating the audience once again. Pulling off the difficult feat of covering the great Neil Young, the guys played a down-tempo version of “Hey Hey, My My” that was carried by bassist Mike Agranovich’s impeccable style and timing, and Brian Sumner’s gravelly vocals reminiscent of Tom Waits. Crowd-pleasers like “Cannery Row” and “Last Night I got Drunk” showcased the boys’ diverse talents, but their extended set had us waiting on the night’s feature—Portage and Main.

The five-piece kicked off their awe-inspiring set with the partially folksy “Settle Down,” inviting singer Savannah Wellman to the stage to compliment lead guitarists and vocalists Harold Donnelly and John Sponarski. After a few lively numbers—some reminiscent of mid-‘90s post-grunge (think Counting Crows with a rootsy inclination)—Sponarski slowed it down with the heartfelt “When You’re Gone,” a song he dedicated to his sister. Donnelly and Sponarski’s vocal harmonies blended seamlessly, except when the immensely talented Donnelly sang solo, exhibiting his vocal control.

Portage and Main wowed the crowd with some shoe-gaze-ier songs, but picked up the tempo near the end with “I’d Never Climbed a Mountain”—showing that the guys’ true calling is their penchant for folk with a country swagger.
When the boys left the stage, the audience called for more. Humbly accepting, the guys, along with Wellman, came back to play “Carolina,” an atmospheric number that floats somewhere between bluegrass and big-band. Leaving us on the triumphant end-note, we’re not sure what impressed us more: the guys’ massive talent or the fact that they’re too humble to admit to it. - Beatroute Magazine

"Glynn Continues to Show He is Brimming with Talent"

Vancouver indie singer-songwriter Adrian Glynn's latest album bears its title well: Bruise is a disarming collection of pained musings and brokenhearted stories delivered stripped-down and raw. Producer Matthew Rogers gives the album a delicate sense of space on songs like the folky Blue Belle Lament, the atmospheric ballad In Our Endless Days and the hissy, gramophone-era-esque lullaby When Everything's Right with the World. On Bruise, Glynn shows his incredible lyrical skills, wedged somewhere between the storytelling whimsy of Iron and Wine's Sam Beam and the honesty of Josh Ritter. Bruise's only weakness may be that it is slightly too contemplative and could have used a proper moment of levity or two. Glynn continues to show he is brimming with talent. (Adrian Glynn's CD release concert takes place Sunday, Oct. 2 at St. James Hall.) - Vancouver Sun

"An Album for the Wounded"

To be certain, Bruise, Vancouver singer-songwriter Adrian Glynn’s newest release (Light Organ Records, 2011) is an album for the wounded. Wading through a hazy collection of laments, remembrances, hymns, and testimonials, Glynn offers to the listener a pain never glimpsed in full. Throughout, enemies and lovers shade into one another as little more than vague outlines, while fragile memories overtake and consume the present.

This ethereal character notwithstanding, Bruise presents us with a listening experience much deeper than its name suggests. Soaked in dense harmonies, heavy with groaning organs and screeching guitars, this is a collection that turns inward, opening for the listener a rich, searing internal monologue. We wheel freely and indulgently, like whiskey across a tongue, from lost lovers to the trauma of war, from claustrophobic taverns to the majesty of London Bridge.

While certainly not attached to any single narrative or concept, the album nonetheless rewards those who treat it as such. Glynn opens, for example, with the (mostly) acapella number, “The First Time,” a triumphant ode to shaking the dust off of one’s collar. In a husky yet arrestingly powerful tenor, he proclaims, “there’ll be sorrow tomorrow just like there was today, I loosen my tie for the first time tonight.” Yet by the album’s mid-point, the spice of the first sip—spoiled by the delicate and beautiful heartache of “Bruise” and the rollicking, gutsy rage of “Mother Mary—” has faded into the bitterness of the last. The plodding, swampy “Leavin’ Alone” finds Glynn’s voice significantly weakened, hovering over a dissonant chorus of guitars, limping toward an empty bed.

It would be a mistake, though, to see Bruise as mere personal musing. It is also heavily accented by the violence of its time, turning in a number of places to the dull pain of constant conflict. For example, on what is perhaps this record’s finest track, “The Heart of Every Lion,” we approach, by way of elegant guitar lines, gentle melodies, and beautiful harmonies, the real trauma of war: its radical emptiness. If “the bones of every fighter look one and the same,” as Glynn observes, then the persistence of war in our time can be explained, in a meaningless circuit, by nothing but its own persistence, its own barren repetition: “we start the war over till we’re fighting again.” On this record, where the bruise—the display of human weakness—leads us to a rich (if tumultuous) inner life, bravado leads us toward emptiness. “The heart of every lion is famine and fear.”

If there is a criticism to be made of this record, it has to do with a minor quibble regarding production. Throughout, while tender moments are suitably restrained, the explosive moments seem somehow smaller and more hesitant than they ought to. Perhaps it’s just an issue of mastering, perhaps it has to do with the self-consciously antique character of the album as a whole, or perhaps it’s because I’ve been spoiled by hearing most of these songs performed live in a beautifully resonant hall. Whatever the reason, the album’s production leaves plenty of room to stretch and could easily accommodate a bit of bombast

That said, Bruise’s thematic centerpiece, “The Failures” is an explosive bit of work. In a fantastic formal maneuver, the track begins with Glynn in a near-whisper, wrapping his voice around such battered phrases as “to live is to fall.” Yet after a long, slow burn, he bursts forward into a driving, frantic refrain, declaring, “the failures will teach me to breathe.”

We are left with the (admittedly grim) sense that the bruise is perhaps unavoidable, that we might have to face the world at our most delicate, held together at times by nothing more than “tape and glue.” Yet out of this fragility, Glynn manages to excavate the richness, depth, and power that make Bruise so wonderfully rewarding, and so much more than the roaring of an empty heart. - Behind Barres

"Doggedly Innovative Singer/Songwriter"

It is sometimes too easy to consign many of the modern folk troubadours under the critical umbrella of dissatisfaction. Not Adrian Glynn. This doggedly innovative singer/songwriter has put together and album of special charm and stubborn beauty. How do we know this? Because it takes at least a half dozen solid sessions in the player before your ears can even really crack his rich depths of meaning and artistically oddball arrangements. Maybe it’s not odd after all. Perhaps it’s his uncanny ability to make "folk" music that stretches the boundaries of the staid form into something more interesting than it has been of late. Whether he’s alone at the piano singing a quiet, dirge-like lamentation or smoldering a slow dark chamber-folk fuse this album definitely gets your attention. And, like its title, the shapes and colors change as time passes making it an album that will loiter in your ears — and your heart. - UpTownMag

"Glynn Brings More Than Folk to the Vogue"

Adrian Glynn has released his first solo album, Bruise.
He’ll get to that but first a brief talk about The Fugitives.
Glynn has been with the band two and a half years. They’ve toured and recorded and it will be with The Fugitives that he’ll appear at the Vogue Wednesday night. They are a literate band, drawing from prose and poetry more than most local groups. They aren’t conventional rockers.
“Yep,” Glynn agrees. “There is a lot of poetry, but there is less and less of it as we write. Everybody brings their own style.”
Glynn’s style is a more complicated but ambitious folk music, at least to judge by the four songs he sang solo last September at Bluebird North. By comparison to the other writers, Glynn was darker, less straightforward.
He has his own band now but manages to keep that, The Fugitives and his solo work separate, although he doesn’t distinguish what is a Fugitives song from something that is more suited to him.
As for Bruise, it is firmly based in folk but it isn’t entirely folk music.
“I listen to a lot of folk music, for sure, but I listen to a lot of different kinds of music.
“We had a selection of 35 songs. We chose the songs that fit together. We really tried to make a record that flowed. We tried to create a soundscape.
“I didn’t want to make a record that was just me and acoustic guitar,” he continues. “The song choices were emotionally close. I saw the LP in terms of colour. Purple and red streaks. I came to this as (making) a swirly, dark record.”
Glynn had been performing solo for five years, coming up through solo and open microphone nights, and had built a body of songs. He went to lawyer Jonathan Simken for legal advice about the music business. Simken ended up being his manager and immediately put him on a Christmas compilation, the first album from Simken’s new Light Organ label. Glynn was a strong presence. Bruise follows a Light Organ EP.
“A lot of my songs come from the top of my head, but, yeah, the songwriting is extremely focused,” Glynn notes. “Songwriting is such a mental process. It can be exhausting.
“The way I write songs,” he says, “I write them for myself. When it comes to performing them you want to convey the honesty.”
- Vancouver Province

"UP coming Release"

Vancouver singer/songwriter Adrian Glynn is set to release Bruise on September 6th via Light Organ Records – check out the incredible album art and track listing below. The actor turned musician composes on acoustic and lap-slide guitars, as well as a balalaika, a Ukrainian folk instrument passed down through a century of his ancestry.

Have a listen to the first single off the album, Seven Or Eight Days – you won’t be disappointed. While you’re at it, check out the making of Bruise over here. For more info on Adrian Glynn, check him out on Facebook. - The Indie Machine

"Adrian Glynn - 2010 UK tour Press Clips"

"foot stomping, mind bending, face achingly funny - songs to make you laugh, cry, think and feel - book him now before (he) gets too big to fit in your suitcase - beautiful and brilliant!"
- Dan Cockrill, Bang Said the Gun, London UK

'Funny, charming and shockingly brilliant. The lyrics are poems and the performance astonishing.'
Lydia Towsey, Word! Festival, Leicester, UK

..Refreshingly brilliant and captivating... an evening of moving, inspiring, witty and exceptionally crafted music and poetry... The audience were gripped and the very loud encore well deserved.
-Jane Monson, CB1 Poetry, Cambridge, UK

Adrian Glynn arrived in a packed candle-lit room in Cambridge with just a balalaika, a guitar, harmonica, some songs and a superb voice and he managed to not only own the space but change it. The audience felt as if they were being invited into a world where music and words were not only important they could also make something happen. His weave of words, music and banter with the audience made that special connection between the performer and the listener that only a consummate artist can create. As a singer song writer he has melodies that exploit his impressive vocal range and his lyrics can by turns be ironic, heartbreakingly authentic and challenging. He never indulges himself in unnecessary vocal or wordy fireworks, just to impress; the joy of his songs is in their driven dynamic purity. During his songs I watched as people leant forward in their seats, rapt and lost to themselves. The richly deserved loud demand for an encore was testimony enough to his skill, warmth and charisma as a performer. We would never hesitate to have Adrian Glynn back; in fact our audience are already demanding it.
-Andrea Porter, Director, Cambridge Poetry Festival, UK.

What a brilliant end to the Dylan Thomas Festival. Adrian Glynn gave an intimate, electrifying performance, leaving an enthusiastic audience wanting more. It was a special night. Please come back soon!

- Dylan Thomas Festival, Swansea
- Various

"Adrian Glynn is a singer/songwriter with a raw and genuine ability..."

Written by Lia Karidas
Saturday, 26 July 2008

Whether it is at a coffee shop, downtown bar, or sold out show, Adrian Glynn is a singer/songwriter with a raw and genuine ability to translate emotion using very little instrumentation. Using only a guitar or a lap-slide in performance, Adrian Glynn communicates emotional tales in a pure, un-synthesized manner. Check out what he had to say to theMOVEMENTZ!

When did you realize that you wanted to pursue music as your career?

I used to fall asleep to Sketches of Spain. I used to sing along to Nylons harmonies in my parents' car. I started to write songs as soon as I could play a few chords on the guitar. But I never thought about it as being "the thing I do" until a few years ago when I was doing nothing but working in a record store and going home to play and write, and then began performing what I was creating and realized the purity of the relationship between songwriter/performer and audience. I fell in love with that and didn't want to stop.

Do any of your songs have an interesting story associated with them?

I think there's a lot of people that don't realize "Mother's Song" is the story of a soldier's mother. I was finding that the older I got the more the significance of Remembrance Day hit me, trying to imagine myself going through what guys my age were going through back then in WW1 and 2. And I was also (still am) mixed up with feelings of anger and despair about the current war; and then the question of war always brings up the question of God for me... This could turn into a very long discussion. But these were all feelings and thoughts that were buzzing around my head so I swatted a few of ‘em and pasted ‘em in this song, but it's not always easy to make out what the shapes are.

Where does your inspiration usually come from?

Events in one's life often are abstract, depending on the interpretation of them. I should say, abstraction is an interpretation, and on some days I do interpret the events in my life in that way. And when it is put down in my writing or my songwriting it can come out in infinite ways. But I believe that the core of any art comes from the personal experience of the artist- where else could it come from? Even if I tell a story in a song about a character that is miles away from who I am, there still must be manifested emotion or even just a simple influence from a film or book that caught me.It's all mixed up in there somewhere.

Who were your musical influences, and how do you think those styles have translated into your sound?

I've always loved the music of words. I love reading Miller and Kerouac and the truth of what they write as well as the unique way theywrite it always inspires me. So I'm often attracted to songwriters who do the same - Kelly Joe Phelps, Dan Bern, Tom Waits. They are inventors in their own way. But that being said, I also love singing - it is one of my favourite feelings and I love hearing singers who push themselves to different places without knowing where they're going - Lou Rawls, Jeff Buckley, John Martyn.

I don't know what translates into influence, but this is some of the music I love.

How do you feel about the music scene in Canada?

I think the creativity and talent coming out of Canada on all musical levels is incredible. But I feel like the mainstream media and thus the general public are slow on the uptake. It seems like Feist was only getting Juno nods once she was getting noticed in France and the US. Seems like Arcade Fire was only getting mentioned in papers once David Bowie gave his approval. Most the Juno nominations are still usually Avril and Buble and Nickelback, yet there is so much more happening. Canadians are hesitant a lot of the time. I don't think we should wait for an artist to get interviewed on the Colbert Report before we take them seriously in this country.

What is the best thing about making music?

The money. And the girls. I get SOCAN to pay me with money that has pictures of girls on it so I can combine the two.

What do you hope people will gain from listening to your music?

I write what I write because at that moment in time I felt like writing it. I haven't really "set out" to write something before. So in that respect I write for myself. But we artists are like withered saplings that need the sunshine of an audience to grow, so stretch ourselves and strain ourselves to reach for that sun... am I going too far with this one? What I mean is I don't write for anyone else but me, but I still long to share what I create, like a lot of artists do. I'm sharing the truth of my experienceand if someone else finds something in there that they relate to in any way, then I find that heartening. And only then shall my supple limbs shall begin to bear the fruit of the season... - Musik Movement Newz

"A voice you get lost in."

Adrian Glynn sings the blues in a way that makes you feel his pain but crave nothing but his voice for comfort.. It’s a voice you get lost in, like a dream you fell into, awakening stilled and captivated; a haunting voice that needs no help in commanding your attention...the power exuding from his stage presence is something that needs to be witnessed for it to be understood. -

"This truth is more than inspiring, it is empowering."

(Adrian) sang a capella most beautifully which captivated me so much, almost bringing me to tears on his last song. It always inspires me when i see artists that make no apologies for their voices, songs and selves and in that truth i find the most riveting beauty. this truth is more than inspiring, it is empowering. -


Bruise (album)  2011

Self titled (EP) 2007



VANCOUVER - What happens when a guitar feedback loop is replaced with a water-dipped gong? What if a drum kit was replaced by firebells,  rusty bread pans and a timpani drum or a harmony line by a handsaw? These are some of the questions innovative singer-songwriter Adrian Glynn and Vancouver’s premiere new music percussion ensemble, Fringe Percussion, have been answering ina groundbreaking new collaboration.

   In a Vancouver recording studio in 2012, the members of Fringe Percussion laid down intentionally rough-hewn bed tracks for Glynn's album Bruise. Apart from resulting in a sublime, critically acclaimed album, this session also planted a seed in the minds of both parties about possible further collaboration.  Since that time, Glynn and Fringe have worked together to develop a more refined fusion of their sounds, with Fringe now taking on the role of the full band, using their full arsenal of percussion instruments to supply bass lines, harmonies, and countermelodies, in addition to the rhythmic drive and exotic sound-world first explored in the Bruise session.

  “This is an exciting meeting of musical worlds”, says Fringe leader Danny Tones. “Fusing the Western musical tradition work that we do with Adrian’s lyrical songwriting style is a type of collaboration we’ve never seen before, so we jumped at the idea to create a new sound in this way”.

The show will feature collaborative works both artists have been working on over the past year and a half, as well as performance pieces from Fringe Percussion’s catalogue (including the likes of John Cage and Steve Reich) and newer songs of Glynn’s.

  “It’s a songwriter’s dream to get to hear your songs come alive in a way you’d never even considered before”, says Glynn, who is also one of the leaders of modern folk group, The Fugitives. “And sharing a stage with the sort of musicianship Fringe employs- that’s like a hallucination. I can’t even believe it’s happening”.

More about Adrian Glynn:

Adrian Glynn is a "doggedly innovative singer-songwriter" (Uptown Magazine). On his first full-length record, Bruise, "Glynn shows his incredible lyrical skills, wedged somewhere between the storytelling whimsy of Iron and Wine's Sam Beam and the honesty of Josh Ritter" (Vancouver Sun) . Released on Light Organ Records, Bruise garnered Glynn a nomination for Best Emerging Artist at the Canadian Independent Music Awards in 2012. Glynn has toured extensively in Canada and the UK, both solo and with his other project, The Fugitives, performing at many notable festivals including the Dylan Thomas Festival in Wales and the Vancouver Folk Festival in Vancouver.

More about Fringe Percussion:

Fringe Percussion is an ensemble dedicated to presenting works from the contemporary Western art music and non-Western repertories. It strives to strengthen the voice of local composers and global musical traditions through innovative programming, artistic collaboration, and dedication to musical excellence.

The ensemble’s repertoire connects to the expressive cultural traditions of Bali, China, Cuba, Japan, Ghana, and India. Fringe Percussion recognizes the vitality, beauty, and artistry inherent to world musics, and wishes to bring them to wider audiences. In so doing, Fringe Percussion’s perspective is especially important. It communicates with many generations and many cultures, connecting well to the multifaceted, multicultural nature of the contemporary music scene.

Band Members