Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
The image of the woman in the SAMA DAMS song, "Tiger," as she becomes a tiger is incredible. We can tell that she's dangerous, that we should be careful, but we also get a sense that if we were to just leave her be, she's mostly going to leave us alone. "She said, quiet while I'm eating," Adams sings, and it feels like we can see the she beast snapping her head around to her hind quarters - speckles of blood flying off to the side as she does so - and shooting a deadly stare, before turning back to chew the meat off the bones of the dearly departed.
We clam up. We refuse to get in her way, waiting until she's finished all that she wants to finish before moving another muscle closer or in retreat. It's this kind of delicate moment that Adams puts in many of his songs - most of which feel as if there's a real chance of getting eaten alive in them. This potential damage is predominantly figurative, the work of an over-active imagination, but some of it is real. Some of it is desperate and real, as if there were tigers patrolling everywhere, always right in the middle of their suppers.
The Portland, Oregon songwriter finds that he needs to regroup often, to collect himself because there's no stability to be found. He finds himself crawling, when he's normally used to walking. His songs feel like a blend of Sondre Lerche's sweet melodies and tunefulness and the eccentricities of David Longstreth and the Dirty Projectors. It's glazed with brilliantly heated moments, when the alarms and whistles are blaring, before settling back down again, to wade through what just happened, what set it all off. He kinda knows it could have been anything and all that means is that there's no preventing it the next time, just like there was no way to prevent it this last time. He sings of the crapshoot - of his contributions and those of others. He sings, "I know I'm a liar cause I feel it all," as if there are no greater bullshit detectors than the feelers, those who can't seem to find the means to ends, just a little more feeling, just a little more irking of the dining tiger.