A Fading Summer EP
By: Eric G.
A Fading Summer is the perfect title for The Clientele’s debut American EP. The Clientele’s shimmering 1960’s-style pop has a dark undercurrent, but it’s so restrained that you just sit mesmerized by the reverb-drenched melodies. The vocals are heavily accented, enveloping each syllable with a fey English sigh. The music is so quiet and elegantly strummed that it floats by like a lazy afternoon. You’d almost swear you’ve heard each song somewhere before, but, of course, you haven’t. Alasdair Maclean sings as though he doesn’t want to wake the neighbors while the guitar chimes lightly in the background.
“An Hour Before The Light” is another title that captures the mood of the song so well that it seems like the music was written with the title in mind. Listening to this EP makes you feel like you’ve discovered something big. The vocals are clearly the centerpiece, but the music is equally sublime, recalling New Zealand pop and The Byrds all at once. The effect is very subtle, but these strangely alluring lullabies will hit you hard- I just keep starting them over. The Clientele effortlessly evokes the psychedelic side of the 1960’s the way Robert Pollard only wishes he could.
“Driving South” is music to lose yourself by. The guitar, bass, and drums build quietly into a slow, swaying pop gem. When Maclean hits those falsetto-notes you have to fight off the chill bumps. The music is so soft and distant that it feels like it could wash away at any moment. The band captures that vintage 60’s vinyl sound without seeming too calculating or contrived. This is dreary melancholia for sure, but it tugs at your pop sensibilities and drags you into its misty lair.