There’s something about Adam Hambrick that makes us believe that he’s hiding something behind those glasses. It’s as if there is an artist behind those specs that we have yet to fully see, a songwriter who is still unsure if he should be the singer in the spotlight, a man that is still trying to find solid footing in an increasingly shaky world.
And it is this that makes him so darn appealing.
Resembling the smart kid in class that everyone still thinks is downright cool, Hambrick brings something to the country music industry that is so fresh, so different and so very interesting. He puts his unique touch on everything he creates, all the while he seems always willing to push himself in any direction he needs to, in order to be heard.
And God knows he’s certainly ready to be heard.
Via the release of his major label debut EP titled The Flipsides, Hambrick seems poised to show fans just what he is capable of, or at least a taste of what he is ultimately capable of. The impressive six-track collection of songs, written and recorded all before the cruelty of the pandemic, floats gracefully from a country to a rock to a pop feel, all while showcasing the songwriting mastery of Hambrick himself.
From the sexy feel of his collab with Jillian Jacqueline on “The Longer I Lay Here” to the ethereal “When It All Sinks In,” Hambrick’s EP certainly proves how talented he is as both a singer and a songwriter. But it is what Hambrick serves up on “Broken Ladder” that has us quite intrigued.
“There are plenty of ‘I got broken up with and I’m drunk songs,’ but we wanted to put a twist on that,” begins Hambrick, who has snagged writing credits on big time hits for artist such Dan + Shay (“How Not To”) and Justin Moore (“Somebody Else Will.)” “We wanted to see how we could make this one a little bit more interesting and different.”
Co-written alongside Ben Stennis, “Broken Ladder” shines bright on The Flipsides, offering up a savory taste of just what Hambrick is capable of creating with that tender voice of his. Because on this one, he shows a rock side that serves up the coolest of juxtapositions between the artist we thought he was, and the artist he just might turn out to be.
“(‘Broken Ladder’) was one I could sing hard on,” explains the Arkansas native with the deep Baptist roots. “It was one that I could really punch you in the face with and rip a vocal on. This was a song we have been holding back for the right moment, to show a new side of me that people haven’t heard yet.”
It’s also a song about heartbreak, a condition that Hambrick proudly states that he hasn’t experienced relationship wise, as he has been happily married for 12 years. But when he talked about this song in particular, you could hear that the song just hit him in a personal way.
“I feel like I have experienced plenty of letdown in my life,” explains Hambrick, who’s been busy paying his dues in Music City since 2013. “I have had other heartbreak that I am acquainted with. I’m acquainted with that feeling of being down and out and trying to do something about it and just making it worse. (Pauses.) That’s where the song comes from. That’s the emotion of it. That’s why this song hits hard for me.”
There is no doubt about it—at his core, Hambrick is a somewhat emotional guy unafraid of remaining authentic in a world of fakes and phonies. And at the moment, Hambrick is a guy who also sounds like he’s growing tired of the current state of affairs, in which artists aren’t getting to play live, crew aren’t able to make a living and songs are truly not getting the chance to shine.
“I love writing songs and performing, but without the performance, there is just no place for these songs to go,” Hambrick says emphatically. “If an artist can’t play these songs for an arena full of people, it’s not going to change the game for anyone. Even if it’s a momentary hit on the radio, people might not even remember it years down the road, and that’s really sad. It puts a bottleneck on the whole system to not be able to play these songs live.”
But Hambrick isn’t one to dwell in his aggravation for too long. He’s got too much to look forward to.
“It still feels like we are all hungover from 2020,” he says with a laugh. “I’m just hopeful that things can get back toward normal. I’m dying to play a real show where a crowd is elbow to elbow, sweating on each other. I’ll be emotional the first time I play a show like that. I just want to get plugged back into that feeling.”
Photo by Austin Lord