The Clientele Share New Song “Dying in May” | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Thursday, September 28th, 2023  

The Clientele Share New Song “Dying in May”

I Am Not There Anymore Due Out July 28 via Merge

May 31, 2023 Photography by Andy Willsher
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England’s The Clientele are releasing a new album, I Am Not There Anymore, on July 28 via Merge. Now they have shared the album’s second single, “Dying in May.” Listen below, followed by the band’s upcoming tour dates.

The Clientele is led by vocalist/lyricist/guitarist Alasdair MacLean and also features bassist James Hornsey and drummer Mark Keen.

In a press release, MacLean had this to say about the new single: “I think ‘Dying in May’ is the first Clientele song with no guitar. It also has no chords, as such—it’s a drone, with French horn, cello, and Mellotron. So the rhythm does a lot of the work—the drums and percussion are in 9/8, but the singing and instruments are in 4/4, so as each bar goes past, there’s a slightly different rhythmic emphasis. This was a complete accident, but I loved it when I heard it—the patterns are a bit disorientating, but there’s a pulse that goes through it. I almost feel I could dance to this, but not quite. It’s based on an Arabic flamenco rhythm.

“The words are all fragmented too—simple images repeating, like someone in a high fever. I took some inspiration from cante jondo, Spanish flamenco—there tend to be two or three very focused, repetitive images in the words. There was no way in hell I could play guitar along with these rhythms, so I scored out a simple melody which would leave space for the drums, and be something the bass could latch on to. By the end, the words go over and over, like someone beside themselves with grief. Hence the title. It’s a harrowing subject, but I think it’s presented with love—the song hopefully opens it out and lets some air in. It feels like an exorcism for me.”

Previously The Clientele shared the album’s first single, “Blue Over Blue,” via a music video. “Blue Over Blue” was one of our Songs of the Week.

I Am Not There Anymore is the follow-up to 2017’s Music for the Age of Miracles, which was the band’s first new album in seven years. Sessions for the new album began in 2019, but took a while because of the pandemic and the band’s desire to experiment in the studio.

“We’d always been interested in music other than guitar music, like for donkey’s years,” said MacLean in a previous press release, with post-bop jazz, contemporary classical, and electronic music all cited as new influences for the band. “None of those things had been able to find their way into our sound other than in the most passing way, in the faintest imprint.”

The lyrics on I Am Not There Anymore are partially inspired by memories of the death of MacLean’s mother in the summer of 1997, a delayed sense of mourning. He said the album is about “the memory of childhood but at the same time the impossibility of truly remembering childhood… or even knowing who or what you are.”

The Clientele Tour Dates:

Fri. July 28 - London, UK @ Rough Trade East
Wed. Aug. 9 - Somerville, MA @ Crystal Ballroom at Somerville Theatre
Thu. Aug. 10 - New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
Fri. Aug. 11 - Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
Sat. Aug. 12 - Washington, DC @ Songbyrd
Sun. Aug. 13 - Durham, NC @ Motorco Music Hall
Tue. Aug. 15 - Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
Thu. Aug. 17 - Los Angeles, CA @ Lodge Room
Fri. Aug. 18 - Pioneertown, CA @ Pappy and Harriet’s
Sat. Aug. 19 - Big Sur, CA @ Fernwood Tavern (inside)
Sun. Aug. 20 - San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel
Tue. Aug. 22 - Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
Wed. Aug. 23 - Seattle, WA @ Tractor Tavern

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