After a couple of albums with his band, Canadian Adrian Sutherland is trying to do his first solo steps. His debut album When The Magic Hits has been published on 17th September 2021. Here is my view on the album.
Adrian Sutherland – About The Artist
Adrian Sutherland is a Northern Ontario artist. The Canadian is part of the Attawapiskat First Nation. One of his key projects is the band Midnight Shine, which is doing roots rock since 2011. Sutherland is the lead vocalist and guitarist of the band since its beginnings. The other band members are first nation members as well. Bassist Stan Louttit and guitarrist Zach Tomatuk belong to the Moose Factory First Nation, which drummer Chamelle Menow is a Norway House Cree Nation member. The band released three albums so far. After a self-titled debut in 2013, there was also Northern Man (2014) and High Road (2018).
Adrian Sutherland – When The Magic Hits – Track by Track
The eleven track album lasts 43 minutes.
1. Big City Dreams
The album starts with the slow, almost dreaming, very thoughtful Big City Dreams. The press kit states how Sutherland wanted to play on the big city stages one day already in his early junior days. A dream, which is also a bit of scary – just like this atmosphere of this song.
The second song is working a bit more on the melodic side. The guitars are quite present. Again, the song feels very straight, very honest. A good listen, indeed.
3. Magic Hits
““Magic Hits is such a beautiful song, I just love the melody, and how it came together musically. It’s about wanting something really bad, and working really hard for it, but yet it still remains just out of reach.”, says the press kit about this song. I couldn’t agree more. The melody makes you feel comfortable from the very first moment. You just get into the Magic Hits in a wonderful way. Love to listen to this track.
4. Once That Was You
This ballad has been written at the beginning of the pandemic. It has its very own spirit, its very own style. Thus, you can hardly believe that it is the same artist you listened to the three songs before. Very beautiful melody again, maybe a bit too kitschy.
5. Nowhere To Run
The very pure and handmade sound together with the violin in the background leads to a very intimate sound at Nowhere To Run. Nice work on the drums, which leads to some very rhythmic sections in this song as well. One of my favorites.
Scared starts with a strong groove and thus almost comes with a touch of a blues rock song. A song about looking for love in deep and sad times.
7. Right Here
Finally, Right Here is about friendship and love. About people you need when you are sad or require help – or also vice versa being there for them when they need to. The product is a very uplifting, straight song, very nice to listen to.
8. Walk With Me
This eighth song is a beautiful love song. A swear to take the challenges of life together. The song is also full of trust in your partner. Thus, the tracks just does not need to much more than its story – that’s already really intense.
9. Make Me Better
Love is the topic of this song as well. Make Me Better is a beautiful love song Sutherland wrote for his wife, stating how much he misses her when away from home. Really nice and deep recording.
10. Respect The Gift
The official track list of the album stops here, so that I guess that Respect The Gift and Politiican Man are some sort of bonus tracks. This is a bit of surprising especially as Respect The Gift has been released as a single some half a year before this album. The song is one of the most powerful and rocking tracks of the album. In context of the other songs of When The Magic Hits, it almost feels angry.
11. Politician Man
This closing song is another impressive one, a track which stays in your mind. One catching element is the harmonica in the chorus, definitely. A strong touch of Americana rock. Good one.
Adrian Sutherland – When The Magic Hits – Spotify
Here is When The Magic Hits on Spotify:
Adrian Sutherland – When The Magic Hits – My View
Adrian Sutherland definitely recorded a beautiful album here. Very different songs, lovely different styles of music. Very often, his songs don’t need too much to be great, he is just interpreting his stories on point. Worth daring a listen, for sure!