Ben Slowey

ARTIST SPOTLIGHTS: Josh Trimble, Adorner

By bslowbro

April 25, 2022

X-Ray Arcade hosted Josh Trimble, Adorner, and Wonderful Bluffer for a passionate night of live music Sunday Night.

Josh Trimble is a singer-songwriter originally from Milwaukee; he moved to Chicago in 2019 to study music at Columbia College and is now in his final year there. Previously in the jazz-funk band Pineapple Migraine, he still plays with Milwaukee musicians in jazz-funk band Cosmic Endeavors. His set Sunday was just him with his guitar and looper, featuring originals and covers, one of which being “Nakamarra” by Hiatus Kaiyote.

On what he’s working on, Trimble said, “I won a competition recently in Chicago; it was like a Battle of the Bands at my college and it was really humbling and invigorating to win because I’d been spending so much time studying jazz guitar and I just entered the competition solo to see what happens. Winning meant so much to me, but it wasn’t about winning; it was about the experience being so fulfilling. That really invigorated me to get the ball rolling on recordings that I’ve been sitting on for a long time, so I have two songs that are partially mixed – “Relentless” and “Life Inside.” I’m so obsessive and perfectionist that I’ve been deciding whether or not to put them out, but I think it’s time.”

Trimble shares a bit about his songwriting lately. “I played a new song tonight that I’d just written. I write from just raw emotion and circumstance, whether it’s from past relationships that re-emerge and show the ghost of themselves in unpleasant ways, or just being at that quarter-life crisis-crossroad thing. My brother just had his first kid and unfortunately people are passing away…it’s just life stuff…death is as much a part of life as birth, and you’re just getting to that age where there’s both funerals and weddings.”

Josh Trimble is opening up for the headliner at Columbia College’s street festival on May 13th.

Adorner are a trio comprised of vocalist/keyboardist Madeline Stadel, guitarist Elly Bird, and drummer Kay Speidel. Their sound contains elements of psychedelic rock and indie pop. The band’s name is a made-up word by Stadel described as “the personification of adornment” – creating beauty for the sake of beauty alone. They formed in October 2020, as Stadel explains.

“I’ve been writing songs my whole life but was always needing a group, and in 2020 I found Elly on the Internet and thought she was really good, so I asked her to audition to be in my band; she was really patient with me and we started writing and figured out some song structures together. A few months later, Kay auditioned since we were looking for a drummer; Yanni Chudnow recommended her. It was super funny; she lives about an hour away and she forgot her snare drum the day of the audition, but Kay was so dedicated to this audition and didn’t want to seem unprofessional so she went over to UWM and grabbed a snare drum to use for the audition, and then snuck it back in Monday morning – that’s how committed she was. She told me that a few months after that and I told her, “that’s why you’re here.” I love working with JJ Agara, who does all our mixing and recording. The commitment that has gone into this project has been a lot, and overtime we started believing in it more and more, and this has just been our beginning.”

Their debut single “Right Time / All the Time” dropped last July. Stadel said, “I was at home playing around with a synthesizer I’d bought off my roommate and it had some rhythm presets on it; I also had a looper pedal. I wrote that when I was tripping really hard (laughs); it’s about the relationship I was in at the time, where we wanted to be closer to each other but also trusting that we’re in the right place at the right time. You have the yearning for things that should be but what you have is right now; it’s that spinning feeling of being in the moment but also longing for more. The first half and second half of the song were written at different times and then put together with the band.”

The single is the first taste of a self-titled EP the band is releasing on May 6th.

Stadel continued, “The EP is supposed to take you on a journey. The songs are put in the order that they were written, and it’s taken over a year to do…we’ve been putting everything we have into it. “Sand” and “Right Time” are both meditations, and then “Activoto” is about not looking in the past, “Venus” is about embracing your identity, and “End of My Rope” is our fiery breakup song. We write songs about courage, songs about forgiveness, songs about victory…all of us have gone through some stuff, and especially being women in music, it gets frustrating. It feels like you’re not seen and not heard, but if you let that make you angry, then it stops you and has power over you. But if you’re focused on bringing the truth to light, taking full accountability and ownership, deciding to be strong, letting yourself determine your story…that’s what we write about.”

Adorner have a number of unannounced shows coming this summer, so stay tuned!