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SINGLE REVIEW: Adam Cleall - Hedgehog Tennis / Kimura’s Monkey Puzzle Tree

In our feels for Mr Cleall(s)

Adam Cleall - Hedgehog Tennis / Kimura's Monkey Puzzle Tree (2021 Pollock Records)

Adam Cleall shows no sign of slowing down after having released an EP and two singles this year. A talented powerhouse you should certainly be paying close attention to, Cleall’s latest release ‘Hedgehog Tennis/ Kimura’s Monkey Puzzle Tree’ is an entirely self-written, recorded and produced single that showcases the rising star at his best.

Marrying the cheeky britpop catchiness of Supergrass with the indie rock magic of Foxygen, Cleall gives us 'Hedgehog Tennis', a 4 minute musical project of total creative genius. What makes this song shine is its obscurity, of which Cleall is unforgiving. I don’t know how I'm meant to feel but I find the melody puts me under a groovy trance in which my head keeps swaying. Yet, after making out the lyrics "I always let me down" and "the end was never me", I find myself no longer bobbing my head to it but having to digest the heavy message the song conveys. The lyrics are hauntingly devastating which is made more chilling when the outro, drenched in pathos, drags us out of our hazy, dreamy state into a crushingly tragic atmosphere constituting a cacophony of brass and dread. As soon as it ends I'm pressing the repeat button and I'm instantly revitalised. Who gave Cleall the permission to make us feel this way, and how do we make this song less addictive?

That's not the limit of Cleall’s creativity, as at this point I don't think there is one. 'Kimura's Monkey Puzzle Tree' gives Yann Tiersen a run for his money. I feel oddly nostalgic listening to this song; at times it makes me want to cuddle up in bed romanticizing a life as a baker who finds love in a charmingly quaint village in France, whilst also urging me to whip out my old Nintendo DS and pull an all nighter playing Cooking Mama and My Sims. If this description isn't working for you then I urge you to listen to this song, you will experience this déjà vu too.

What Cleall proves with this release is he can make music for any situation. His talent is astounding. 2022 promises nothing but brilliance when it comes to Adam Cleall: bring on the new year!


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Adam Cleall: spotify // instagram // bandcamp


Olive Annalise is a music production student from Bristol whose interests include poetry, sound design and film. In her spare time, she indulges in wine mom humour and enjoys telling people she can speak French, although her Duolingo owl would disagree.

This article was edited by Fin Cousins, a recent King's College London literature graduate who loves writing, music and bagels. He has now completely given up on waiting for Love Island to accept his application and realised he probably needs to get a real job. He also made our logo.

Thanks for reading! Slow Motion Panic Masters is a music, arts and culture website created and co-edited by Ben Wheadon. He just graduated and wanted to let you know that Fleet Foxes are the greatest band of all time. Do you make music? Send it to us via instagram and follow the account so we can contact you if we like what we hear. Feel free to e-mail us your music and EPK to and we'll be in touch.

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