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The Clientele – Strange Geometry, Clear Philosophy

The Clientele have recently wrapped their U.S. tour with fellow Merge recording artists, Spoon, in support of the band’s third release, Strange Geometry. At Bark studios, under the guidance of producer/engineer Brian O’Shaughnessy who was one of many interviewed for the project, the band was able to experience a more focused and more professional recording process. This time around The Clientele were relieved from focusing on the tedious nuisances of self-recording and were able to focus solely on the work at hand, creating a wonderful album.


The band has acquired a loyal and stylized fan based over a steadily growing career. Singer and guitarist, Alasdair Maclean, describes a typical fan as “The person who wanders with no other object than to soak up atmospheres and symbols, that’s something that’s very important to our inspiration.” This comes as a refreshing statement from a band that seeks a certain mental responsibility from it’s listeners.

Strange Geometry combines the sounds of ’60s guitar pop with warm and well placed string arrangements courtesy of composer, Louis Phillipe. The guitars are bright and optimistic, but given a psychedelic, tremolo-effected depth giving the songs a needed edge. Strange Geometry is a sensitive literary work as well as it is a “folk pop” album. The lyrical ideologies are textured light and dark throughout this well-cloaked “pop” venture. The track, “Losing Haringey,” is a poetic monologue of an average man seeking deeper meaning in a life seemingly engulfed in unforgiving struggle and mundane misgivings. He searches the streets and terraces of London, finding himself alive and well, living in a photograph taken long ago, before the stresses, before the heartache, before the loss.

As in this song, as in this album, as with this band, every aspect of ones current atmosphere and experience in life is no more or no less important than the other. The idea is to appreciate the love, as well as the pain, the failures, as well as the triumph. As long as you acknowledge it, as long as you learn from it, it was worth living through. The songs encourage observation and travel, whether on foot, on a bike, emotional wandering, or metaphysical day-tripping. Point A and point B, either physical or emotional places, cease to exist without the journey in between. This album is exactly that.

The Clientele are planning a North American tour as early as October, but unfortunatley this time around, Denver is not on the list.


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