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Limelight: Rian Adkinson

Atlanta auteur records progressive pop album amid tornados and traumatic memories.

The most poignant song on Rian Adkinson’s debut album is Les Revenants, a lyric about a dead man who has just left his body and is looking down on his loved ones. It’s about Adkinson’s father.

“He hung himself behind our house,” says the Atlanta, Georgia-based songwriter, his throat audibly choking up over the phone line. “I found him. It was absolutely horrible. It’s taken me a long time to deal with that. But when I was making this record, all the stuff about him started coming forth.”

The southerner’s debut album, Villain, is heartfelt but it isn’t morose. Its 11 tracks feature soaring choruses as catchy as grappling hooks. Songs such as I’ll Be The LightningGolden Age, and Disconnect boast the pop sensibility of Trevor Rabin-era Yes and Marillion’s Top 40 singles.

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