Clientele, The - Ariadne

(nois039: 708527393925)

1. Enigma
2. Summer Crowds In Europe
3. The Sea Inside A Shell
4. Ariadne Sleeping
5. Impossible

The Clientele, that London trio who show such class and emotion through mixing psychedelic, pop and folk music are publishing their new Ep in Acuarela (titled “Ariadne”). Since their beginning in 1997 up until now, each of the group’s releases (compiled in the “Suburban Light” collection) has kept to a basic set of guidelines: fragility, stories of twilight and a tendency to bittersweet choruses. For this, they were eventually aligned – perhaps rather hurriedly – with Belle and Sebastian’s pop sensibility. In 2002 they published an exclusive EP in Acuarela, “Lost Weekend”, just about 20 minutes of pastoral beauty, including one of the best songs of their career, the catchy “Emptily Through Holloway”. They also visited Spain as support band for Migala, to play in the Tanned Tin festival and to embark on a tour around various cities. Their last album, “The Violet Hour” (Pointy/Green Ufos, 2003) is the culmination of a long creative period and the real debut of a group that is well aware of its capacity for impressionist poetry. The title, homage to TS Elliot, lucidly evokes the album’s contents: twilight, lazy afternoons, and restless uncertainty about what the evening will bring. Its 13 songs provide a sentimental showcase for memories and moments, some good and some bad, filtered through a mesh of light and nostalgia. Alastair’s delicate lyrics about love, loss and defeat act as captions of a slide show about the past, accompanied by a reverberating soundtrack and a voice that is more like a narcotic whisper. Languid melodies and crepuscular choruses that remind us of the Byrds, Nick Drake, Arthur Lee or the best from Incredible String Band, but also of Philip Larkin, Raymond Carver and above all…of themselves. “The Violet Hour” is a masterpiece of chamber pop music. "Ariadne" is music 'inspired by the Ariadne series of paintings by Giorgio De Chirico', many of which were exhibited at the Estorick Gallery in London in 2003. De Chirico's "Metaphysical" works began around 1912, with a series of 8 Ariadne paintings in which the artist depicted a reclining statue of the Princess of Greek mythology in an empty, sun-drenched piazza. According to the legend, she was abandoned by her lover, Theseus, on the desert island of Naxos, after he had killed the Minotaur with the aid of her thread, which had helped him to navigate the labyrinth. Focussing on the same symbols of exile and loss, The Clientele have echoed the unique mood of disquietude and austerity in De Chirico's Ariadne paintings, with haunting, Satie-influenced piano instrumentals giving way to long organ drones, whining static and John Barry-through-the-looking-glass guitar themes as well as two classic pop songs. Retaining the warmth of their previous recordings, the band have reached beyond their roots, into minimalist and classical territory, creating enigmatic abstracts of endless shores, transient crowds and fruitless searches.

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