Oh thank God a new the Clientele album and by the time it comes out it will be near autumn so you can listen to this while wandering down leafy lanes at dusk - the perfect setting for Alistair MacLean's melancholic form of 60's influence psych and jangle. They now have a santoor (a kind of Indian dulcimer) on board but this just sounds like the Clientele which is perfect news for when the days grow dark.
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Limited indies only Deluxe Edition gatefold LP + CD on Tapete. Includes a bonus 7” containing two exclusive tracks. Edition of 500 copies.
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Guess what I did last week? Broke out my warm autumn jumper. It was a lovely moment. It had a few extra frays around the edges, was a little tighter round the midriff but was otherwise as snug and perfect as I'd remembered. Rather like this Clientele album in fact.
The autumnal London based band are back in action and are as melancholic as ever. Theirs is a world of parks just before dusk, of leaf-strewn lanes and warm pubs at the end of cold walks. The five years away hasn't changed much though: there is the addition of a santoor player (a kind of indian dulcimer) who adds a few twinkles here and there - as if the Clientele need any more twinkles. 'Music in the Age of Miracles' is an assured late period album by the band rather than anything near a career best, but it is full of small triumphs. Alistair MacLean's hushed vocals and nylon strung guitar twirls have never been more lovely, and if the melodies and lyrics are somewhat familiar to those of us who have followed them from the get go, this album tends to simply underline in triplicate what the Clientele are good at. 'Lunar Days' is particularly gorgeous, full of small production touches that add colour and warmth to their world.
The only real change from earlier works is that gorgeous santoor and the little interludes they've taken to adding in between their songs. The only moment I doubt is the spoken word 'North Circular Days' which is an identikit take of 'Losing Haringey' from their earlier 'Strange Geometry'. The instrumentation is gorgeous though - perhaps it should have been left as an instrumental.
A minor gripe. Here the Clientele confirm that they are a kind of rain trodden English take on Love circa 'Forever Changes' as if viewed through Nick Drake's half light. Marvellous.
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- Music for the Age of Miracles by The Clientele
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