In Focus: Hidden States

Re-branded and re-energised, Adam Day has emerged from the shadows to introduce his latest vehicle, Hidden States. Hidden States are even better than his first moniker, County Line Runner, and their EP – entitled Reconcile – holds one of the most hypnotic numbers released this decade (more on that below.) Hidden States, their music now a series of troubled spiritual passages masquerading in a rock forum, displays many of the trappings of 1970s pop – and then the soul-baring, fuelled by a desire to piece together a narrative based on discovery and openness in a material driven post- pandemic world, enters giving the release a fresh coat of paint. It’s a stunning demonstration of commitment to an artist’s work and ambition: captivating, yet commercial.

It is commonplace to call this authenticity “Lennonesque”, although Day cites U2 and their strangely beautiful The Unforgettable Fire as one of his formative influences. After the opening “Fix II Fix” – now out as a single – “Valley Song” begins, performed with quiet pathos and despair, the instruments lunging at the backdrop. The instruments flits in and out of the speakers, culminating in a work that combines strategic musicianship with yearning and urgency.

Key Track: “Plastic Palm Trees”: The song’s two-tier structure, interleaving the mind-numbing experience of the COVID-19 Pandemic with the soul-warming energy of more recent months, offers an inventive alternative that has scarcely been heard in commercial music since Godley & Creme left 10cc for more ambient territories. The two disparate influences are beautifully intertwined: the first segment is illustrated in a series of lofty hooks, and the latter is presented in a style that’s bouncier and arguably more playful. The jumps between moods are cloaked in self-awareness and sincerity, although neither emotion subtracts from the one that came before it. The full EP, Reconcile, will be released at the end of March.