Josienne Clarke — „A Small Unknowable Thing“ (13th Aug., 2021)
℘ Zpěvačino druhé sólové album přehodnocuje témata ztráty, ale s povznášející sadou písní.
Location: Cardross, Scotland~London, England
Album release: 13th August, 2021
Record Label: Corduroy Punk Records
01. Super Recogniser 3:33
02. Like This 1:39
03. Never Lie 2:49
04. Chains 2:18
05. If It’s Not 1:30
06. Sit Out 2:47
07. Sting My Heart 1:43
08. The Collector 3:03
09. Tiny Bit Of Life 3:56
10. A Letter On A Page 2:27
11. Deep Cut 1:53
12. Out Loud 2:52
13. Repaid 2:35
14. Unbound 3:18
℘ All songs written & composed by Josienne Clarke
℘ Arranged by Josienne Clarke
℘ Produced by Josienne Clarke
℘ Josienne Clarke: Vocals, Guitars, Harmonium, & Saxophone
℘ Dave Hamblett: Drums
℘ Matt Robinson: Keyboards
℘ Alec Bowman_Clarke: Bass
℘ Mary Ann Kennedy: Harp
℘ Mike Hillier: Recording, mixing & mastering
℘ Trude Bakke: Recording assistant
℘ Nick Turner: Additional recording Recorded at Watercolour Studios, Fort William
℘ Mastered at Metropolis Mastering
℘ Alec Bowman_Clarke: Cover design & photography
℘ Aaron Miller: Design assistance & layout
℘ Photos Taken at Broadscope Studios, Glasgow
℘ Alison Clarke: Design & creation of butterflies
℘ MV Brown: Make~up
℘ Emma Diamond: Hair
©SGO Music Publishing LTD/BMG
©2021 Corduroy Punk Records
℘ Josienne Clarke appears courtesy of Corduroy Punk Records.
℘ Corduroy Punk Records exists courtesy of Josienne Clarke.
David Honigmann ⌊AUGUST 6 2021⌋ Score: ★★★★
℘ For a decade, Josienne Clarke was half of a duo with Ben Walker. The pairing brought them a dedicated following and awards. It brought her, increasingly, misery. After dissolving the partnership in 2018, she wrote coruscatingly of being denied the credit for her compositions, of loss of control, of losing confidence in her own guitar playing. She broke up with, in her words, everything but the songwriting: she left London for the Isle of Bute; she left her record label and set up her own, Corduroy Punk, named after a throwaway remark in an interview.
℘ She addressed all this in a solo album, In All Weather. Now, its more considered follow~up revisits the territory but resolves into slightly greater hope. It runs through 14 songs in less than 40 minutes, some barely more than fragments, as if she is still putting herself back together — “If It’s Not” packs years of reproach into its 90 seconds.
℘ The title comes from the song “The Collector”, which replays imagery from the novel by John Fowles to a brooding thrum of distorted guitar. “You’re the collector”, she sings with an uncomfortable clarity, “you’ll keep me forever/a small unknowable thing . . . ” There is just the hint of a backing choir of voices. “You’re the collector/who owns unownable things/by pinning their wings.”
℘ The best songs seethe. “Sit Out”, with an implacable battery of drums, is a rebuke made noise. “All you stand for/makes me want to sit out”, Clarke sings into the briefest respite in the grinding guitars; and then unleashes a wall of saxophone, wailing at the edge of melody like a funeral or the sacking of a city. By contrast, “Deep Cut” is menacingly quiet, every scrape of fingernails on the guitar strings clearly audible as the words use the argot of the masculine record obsessive to diminish its dedicatee. “You’re nothing but a deep cut in my back catalogue . . . a rejected line from a song I never sing any more.” The drums look for a groove, reject it, and the song peters out, as if she cannot be bothered to see through the delivery of the message to its end.
℘ On “Unbound”, the acoustic guitars are back. “Time”, she sings, “is a great healer . . . ”, and to a melody that nods to “Who Knows Where The Time Goes?” — Sandy Denny being a longstanding touchstone both as singer and as songwriter — Clarke sings herself looking out at “all this water”, and feeling the damage “beginning to undo”. May it be so.