Comprised of Guy Connelly (vocals, guitar, sampler), Andy West (bass, guitar), Che Albrighton (drums), and Nic Nell (keyboards, vocals,) synth-driven London quartet Clock Opera are unveiling their second album ‘Venn’ via League of Imaginary Nations and !K7 on February 10th. A darker beast than their 2012 debut ‘Ways to Forget,’ the distinctive sound of Clock Opera — the agile alto voices, a sleek and supple rhythm section, immaculate production — is still present, but there’s a marked shift in lyrical tone.
“A lot of the album is about loss, absence, holes, haunting, questioning identity,” explains Connelly. “To be specific, the majority of the songs were inspired by a miscarriage. A lot of the others were driven by the fallout from it.” Although a darkly cerebral and grief-ridden record in theme, ‘Venn’ is as uplifting as it is sinister and ghostly, menacing and euphoric in equal measure. It’s an album named for “the intersection, the shared part, the hole in the middle.”
Here, new Clock Opera single, ‘Whippoorwill’ throbs like an open wound, its narcotic churn reflecting the myths and legends about the titular bird being a vessel for souls after death. Clock Opera member Andy West made the video using images from still photographs that he cut out, scribbled over and brought to life using a combination of stop-frame and digital animation. He said on the video:
“As legend has it, the Whippoorwill can sense a soul departing and capture it as it flees. This video tells the story of a man whose soul has been caught in the forested netherworld of the Whippoorwill and charts his journey through this ghostly plane of existence and onto the next.”
Looking for a new playlist? Check out Indie Music Filter’s “Best Of March 2016” playlists below.
March is statistically such a great time for new music, as you can tell by the size of this months’ group. I had to trim a few from the list, but what’s left, is the cream of the crop from the blogs last month. Tons of new discoveries including Romes, WILDES, Rostam, Teleman plus new tracks from IMF faves Anna Of The North, M83, Oyster Kids, Still Parade and Great Good Fine OK.
With the amount of music that goes in and out of my ears, I’m so guilty of losing track of bands, unless they find a way to continually get my attention. Clock Opera (along with only a handful of bands) is an exception, where during their breaks and hiatuses, I find myself trolling their twitter and facebook feeds looking for signs of activity.
In the fall of last year I was rewarded for my snooping, as after a three-year hiatus, the band shared their first new music (“Changeling“) since their incredible 2013 debut Ways To Forget. Now, we’ve got a new single in “In Memory”, which continues to show a darker path for the band, “introducing melancholia not often associated with the band’s trademark sample-led euphoric-pop”.
It’s one the most personal songs the band have ever written, explains the band’s singer and lyricist Guy Connelly “It’s about questioning your identity, about being judged on who you are versus what you thought you were. What you were expected to be coming up against what you might end up being.” The song feels almost meditative, featuring Connelly’s renowned falsetto set to minimal bass and womb-like synths.
The song was recorded at Squarehead Studios in Kent with Kristopher Harris (Bear’s Den) over the summer of 2015 and like “Changeling”, gives us a great foray into Clock Opera‘s forthcoming album, set to be released this summer.