It’s rare for a music “scene” or community to produce an artist that gains notoriety on a national or international level. With every passing day, I find Kentucky housing another artist ready to take the baton and run alongside those that have “made it.”
Some would say that our Commonwealth possesses an uncommon wealth of talent. I’d be one of those folks, and if you’ll allow me, I’d like to shine a little light on a young lady that I believe in wholeheartedly. If you’re a reader here at Capture Kentucky, then Sydney Adams is not a new artist to you. If this is your first time here or hearing about Sydney, welcome. Get comfortable and help me celebrate that aforementioned uncommon wealth.
Sydney Adams calls Corbin, Kentucky home. She’s drawn comparisons to some of the most iconic voices you’ve ever heard. I’ve even been guilty of tossing out that praise of comparison myself, but today, let’s focus on what makes Sydney, well, Sydney. After all, that’s what separates the big dogs from the rest of the pack.
First and foremost, Sydney refuses to compromise who she is as an artist and has used her God-given talents to carve out her own path. And by golly, that ain’t easy to do! Sydney is unrelenting and knows exactly who she is, and more importantly, who she wants to be. In a world of Kardashians, Sydney wants to be Sydney and I respect the hell out of her for that, and you should too. I feel this EP is a shining example of that determination and her character.
‘A Lot Like You’ is her latest, and most polished, release to date. The EP consists of five songs. Four originals, and one interpretation of a pop song that folks are gonna be drawn into like a moth to a flame. Armed with a unique vocal flip that punctuates her country twang, Sydney delivers like only she can with this release.
“Sinners Like Me” is up first and if you like your country served up in a traditional classic style, you’re about to discover your new favorite artist. From a personal standpoint, this is the song that really sealed the deal for my belief in Sydney as a songwriter. Long before this EP was finished, “Sinners” captivated me in a live setting. That stripped-down version has held my ear captive ever since, and I’m here now to tell you that the wait for the recorded version was worth it.
“Sinners Like Me,” sets the tone for the album, and man, oh man, it’s an absolute homerun! The first lyrics you’re greeted with are:
“The Road To Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions
The Stairs To Heaven Are Lined With Sinners”
Now THAT is the way to open an album. “Sinners Like Me” really allows Sydney to showcase that unique vocal flip. For me, that little flip is her signature and I find myself waiting to hear how she will use it in every song she sings. It’s something that I feel makes her voice immediately recognizable, and that’s why “Sinners Like Me” is my personal favorite song from this release. We’re all sinners that are trying to find our way, so it’s great to be reminded that we’re not in this battle alone. Doesn’t hurt when that message is delivered in such a beautifully written way. Dare I say, eloquently? I think I will.
Enjoy this recent acoustic version of “Sinners Like Me.”
So how do you follow up on such a wonderful introduction? You break out the big guns of course! Next, we get the song from which the EP title comes from, “A Lot Like You.” I’m going to humblebrag here a bit, and say that I’ve been able to see Sydney perform this song several times. It’s been a daggum highlight of her set each and every time. So, if you’re looking for a single song that encompasses who Sydney is, “A Lot Like You,” is your huckleberry. This song is also a classic traditional country song at its’ core, and Sydney’s lyrics stay in that pocket, but her vocals bring the story to life in a modern way while the steel guitars pull on every heart string it can latch onto. The song settles in and we’re treated to the realization that no matter hard we try, be it for better or worse, we share traits, habits and similarities with those we love. As Sydney says it, “Cause you can’t outrun, the cloth that you’ve been cut from.” The song then ends when the harmonies come in to seal the deal as the payoff you’ve been waiting for. If you’re a Country purist, Sydney Adams just solidified her spot deep inside your heart with this one.
“It Never Was” was the first single Sydney released from ‘A Lot Like You.’ She released it a little over a year ago and received some really great feedback. The song has opened many doors for her and that’s a trend that I see continuing for the foreseeable future. “It Never Was” has a much more modern country sound, loaded with bells and whistles, but her vocals continue to cut through and deliver as only Sydney can. In fact, there are two moments in this one that are at the top of my list of awesomeness.
First up is my favorite vocal styling on the entire EP. In the second line of the verse, Sydney delivers some vocal attitude that I just love. Listen for the way she delivers this line; “My kind of style is a little more iffy, but I like the way it feels.” Moments make hits, and I LOVE that one. Her inflection in that little shot of attitude is a wonderful look into that unrelenting path that she has set for herself. As I said before, Sydney knows who she is and who she wants to be as an artist. Then, if you’d like to hear Sydney’s vocal prowess on full display, give this one a listen till the end. She ain’t afraid to hold a note and hearing her cut loose is just fantastic!!
Enjoy “It Never Was” below:
Listen, here’s the deal, when I review music, I like to leave a few songs for you to discover on your own, but I’m going to be honest here, I’m not certain I can follow my own trend with this one. ‘A Lot Like You’ has inspired my writing and I’m struggling to stop. I only tell you this for one simple reason, you NEED to hear this EP and I would be doing you a disservice if I shut up now. So stay with me and let’s enjoy this ride together. Good deal? Good!
Earlier, I mentioned a cover song was included on this EP. I made a rather bold statement about it and I stand by it. I’ll introduce this one to you using Sydney’s own words. She introduces her interpretation of the Lorde hit “Royals,” by saying, “This isn’t a country song, but it always sounds like one when I sing it.” I could not agree more. I fully expect Sydney’s interpretation of this one to elevate her above and beyond the borders of our region, and once you hear it, you’ll understand that nothing else needs to be said. I will encourage you to stick around and enjoy the ending though. That’s an ending suitable for a sing-a-long in a dadgum football stadium. You hear me Kroger Field? Sydney’s coming for ya!
There’s an unwritten law in music that most folks don’t even realize. How many of your favorite albums end with a song that’s so good, that you’re left wanting more? All of em? Yep, mine too. Sydney has accomplished that very scenario brilliantly. I love seeing Sydney perform with an entire band, but my favorite performances have always been in a stripped-down acoustic setting. It’s like sitting down for breakfast with an artist when you are in an acoustic setting. It’s that intimacy that leaves you ready for the next song, or next show. And that’s exactly what you get to close out ‘A Lot Like You.’ “A Sad Song” showcases every tool in Sydney’s toolbelt. It’s a glimpse into the acoustic setting that I keep yelling about from the rooftops. The sadness, the loneliness, the longing in Sydney’s delivery is unfathomably good. It’s hauntingly beautiful. We’ve all dealt with loss and pain, it’s a universal topic that we all relate to, but ever so often a song comes along that stops you dead in your tracks, and for me, that’s exactly what “A Sad Song” does. It’s the perfect punctuation for a release that is in the running for the best release of 2022.
So allow me to put a nice, pretty bow on this article for you. Sydney Adams deserves your attention, and with this release, she’s hell-bent on earning it. ‘A Lot Like You,’ is, as my British friends often say, bloody brilliant. You WILL find something that resonates with you on this release. I’ll stake my reputation on it.
Go buy and listen to ‘A Lot Like You’ on June 17th. It will be available everywhere you enjoy your music. And for goodness sake, if Sydney is playing a show anywhere near you, GO! You can thank me later.