As well as his musical commitments, Adam Sarmiento’s CV includes time spent as a designer and gardener. The latter is actually quite indicative of the pastoral atmosphere he evokes on his latest album as I And I.
‘The Alpha Future’ stretches between the downright commercial (‘1 = 1’ features classic synth pop hooks) and awkward mood pieces (the clunky, tribal noises of ‘Jaws Of Life’). Somewhere in between, Sarmiento seems to be crafting a distinctive brand of off-kilter pop. ‘Go’ has a celebratory feel that seems to have roots in African music whilst the first single, ‘Should Have Been A Beekeeper’, balances club euphoria with the sounds of nature awakening.
Sarmiento’s low register vocals take some getting used to but on ‘Soft Science’, in particular, he sounds like Talking Heads’ David Byrne. The album reaches its highpoint, however, for the moody couplet of ‘Illusions’ and ‘The Hardest Part’, where he cleverly uses echo on the former and piano on the latter to create a tangible sense of loneliness.
Sarmiento may have roots in the clubs and dancefloor but he’s also looking up at the clouds, which lends this album its heavenly feel. Admittedly, some of ‘The Alpha Future’ may sound a little dated but he’s produced an original and uplifting set of songs,