As a musician, Adam Topol’s career highlight reel is already substantial. He’s sat behind the drum kit for everyone from Eddie Vedder, Joey Santiago, Ziggy Marley and Jack Johnson to legends like Donovan and David Gilmour. He has explored Afro-Cuban rhythms and percussion via “Ritmo Y Canto,” dabbled in dubby electronic reggae with “Culver City Dub Collective” and to the far edges of soul-jazz with “Blue Painted Walls In Faraway Places.” He has never made the same record twice. So is it a surprise that “Regardless of the Dark” is the first album ever released under his own name? Stepping out from behind the drum kit to create a collection of songs that can stand alongside those of his peers?
At least a little bit, because it nearly didn’t happen. Playing alongside so many great musicians had made coming up with his own material all the more challenging. He threw his own first record out because he wanted to go back and do it again until it felt right. The final result is a ten song voyage from Brazil to Reno. It took nearly three years to record the album - on the road on a laptop, in random studios on off days, and at home in Topol’s garage in Venice, CA.
Focusing less on rhythmic based songs as in previous projects, Regardless of the Dark aims at narratives and lyrical storytelling about life in the northern Nevada and California mountains. Traveling the world with great songwriters and artists also helped plant the seeds for this batch of songs to come to life. The sound of the feel of the album is influenced heavily by hours spent on the road reading books and listening to music, hearing other people tell their stories over and over.
Always buoyed by the presence of good friends and collaborators, Topol has assembled a number of talented musicians to flesh out the instrumentation. “Hollow,” was recorded in Barcelona with The Pinker Tones, and sparkles with castanets and melodica. Mason Jennings lends additional vocals and guitar on The Captain as well as the album’s closing track, “Reno.