The Clientele

I Am Not There Anymore

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On July 28, 2023, Merge Records will release I Am Not There Anymore, The Clientele’s first new record in six years. Over The Clientele’s 32-year career, critics and fans have described their songs with words like “ethereal,” “shimmering,” “hazy,” “pretty,” and “fragile.” Their singer, guitarist, and lyricist, Alasdair MacLean, has his own interpretation of the effect his music creates. “It’s that feeling of not being there,” he says. “What’s really been in all the Clientele records is a sense of not actually inhabiting the moment your body is in.”

I Am Not There Anymore, regularly evokes what MacLean calls “the feeling of not being real.” Many of the songs were inspired by MacLean’s memories of the early summer in 1997, when his mother died, but also represent The Clientele pushing towards a new sonic frontier as a band, experimenting over the course of a three-year recording period.

Of this stretching out, MacLean says, “We’d always been interested in music other than guitar music, like for donkey’s years.” This time out, he and bassist James Hornsey and drummer Mark Keen incorporated elements of post-bop jazz, contemporary classical, and electronic music. According to MacLean, “None of those things had found their way into our sound other than in the most passing way, in the faintest imprint.”

With those elements in the foreground, I Am Not There Anymore reasserts The Clientele’s standing among the great stylists of pop music, deftly shifting from image to image, mood to mood, in a way that feels both new and classically them.


Barry says: Swimming melodies and folky melodies soar around a solid base of grooving jazzy percussion and hazy psychedelic saturation. The Clientele have managed to craft something that's both innovative and without sacrificing their core melodic sound. A grander, more flowery Clientele and all the better for it.


Side A
1 Fables Of The Silverlink
2 Radial B
3 Garden Eye Mantra
4 Segue 4 (iv)
5 Lady Grey
Side B
6 Dying In May
7 Conjuring Summer In
8 Radial C (Nocturne For Three Trees)
9 Blue Over Blue
10 Radial E
Side C
11 Claire's Not Real
12 My Childhood
13 Chalk Flowers
14 Radial H
15 Hey Siobhan
Side D
16 Stems Of Anise
17 Through The Roses
18 I Dreamed Of You, Maria
19 The Village Is Always On Fire

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