THE CLIENTELE - I AM NOT THERE ANYMORE

THE CLIENTELE - I AM NOT THERE ANYMORE

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Released: 28/07/23

Listening to the cracking single ‘Dying in May’ from The Clientele’s superb new LP I Am Not There Anymore (the group’s first in six years), it occurred to me that one of the reasons I was digging it so much was its vague similarity to New Fast Automatic Daffodils’ ‘Big’ (from 1990’s Pigeonhole) – another being that it’s strange syncopated indie sounds like if David Axelrod experimented with Samba, and added some particularly lovely Lata Mangeshkar-esque strings.

But then on track nine, ‘Blue Over Blue’, the group sound like Mutations-era Beck with a particularly plangent Jim O’Rourke on vocals; and on the wonderful ‘Claire’s Not Real’, the verse conjures up Brel or Gainsbourg doing Bossa-Nova, while the chorus sounds not unlike Cat Stevens’ ‘Here Comes My Baby’. I Am Not There Anymore, then, is a prismatic work full of such magpie moments, which are the intoxicating sound of a three-decades-old band in full-on experimental mode, pushing towards a new sonic frontier. In the hands of lesser groups the album would come off as disjointed, but The Clientele are one of the best and most inventive British indie-pop bands going, and as such it sounds seamless – and never less than thrilling.