Search Results for:

JOSIENNE CLARKE

Josienne Clarke

Parenthesis, I

    On Parenthesis, I, Josienne Clarke has not only embraced her past but has also redefined herself in the present, presenting a body of work that is shimmering, warm, intimate, and at times, profoundly heart-wrenching. Throughout her career, Clarke has been both a Rough Trade-signed artist and a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award-winner, two opposing poles that neatly sum up her inability to be pigeonholed. Parenthesis, I is a masterful journey through her personal and musical evolution, drawing influence from folk greats Nick Drake and Sandy Denny, as well as more contemporary artists like Julia jacklin, Courtney Marie Andrews, Anaïs Mitchell and Lucy Dacus.


    TRACK LISTING

    1.  Friendly Teeth
    2.  Spherical
    3.  Fear Of Falling
    4.  Do You Know Now
    5.  Looking Glass
    6.  Forbearing
    7.  Most Of All
    8.  Double-Edged Sword
    9.  Firecracker
    10.  Dead Woman’s Bones
    11.  The Calm
    12.  Parenthesis, I
    13.  Magic Somehow

    Josienne Clarke

    Onliness

      In her own words, Josienne Clarke viewed her 2021 album – A Small Unknowable Thing – as a leap into the abyss. Finally free from the industry structure that had been built around her over the preceding decade and more, she released the album via her own label, Corduroy Punk Records, and handled every aspect of the album’s writing, recording, and release herself, on her own terms. Free from her previous role as one-half of a duo and losing the genre constraints she was quickly and lazily placed within, she came out of that chapter emboldened – but still not truly free.

      From her home on Scotland’s Isle of Bute, Josienne began thinking about the idea of reclamation. Cutting her teeth in an industry that so often works against the artist it's supposed to support – and with a lingering idea in the wake of Taylor Swift’s ‘Taylor’s Version’ project – Josienne began revisiting the songs in her back catalogue that felt buried somehow; that had never had the spotlight she felt they deserved, for myriad reasons.

      Onliness is both a wholesome project and a spellbinding work in its own right. Opening with one of her earliest compositions – ‘The Tangled Tree’ – and closed by a brand-new song, it presents a career retrospective viewed through a new lens. The album is comprised of reworked versions of fan favourites and hidden gems from a back catalogue that always glimmered, but this time they’re entirely hers, carrying everything from booming drums to intimate acoustic guitars, with Josienne's powerful yet, at times, fragile voice whispering and screaming straight into the listeners ear.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: Warm, mildly distorted guitar plucks and Clarke's powerful vocals twist around each other in a hypnotic display of melodicism and drive. It's a testament to Clarke's songwriting skill that she can turn the tide of the groove in an instant, shifting into a woozy psychedelic redux. A wonderful rework of some of her classic pieces, and a great introduction for any new listeners.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. The Tangled Tree
      2. Only Me Only
      3. It Would Not Be A Rose
      4. Ghost Light
      5. Silverline
      6. Bells Ring
      7. Something Familiar
      8. The Birds
      9. Homemade Heartache
      10. Chicago
      11. Things I Didn’t Need
      12. Bathed In Light
      13. Anyone But Me
      14. I Never Learned French
      15. Done
      16. Workhorse
      17. Words Were Never The Answer 

      Josienne Clarke

      I Promised You Light

        ‘I Promised You Light’ follows on from Clarke’s critically acclaimed 2021 LP, A Small Unknowable Thing, an emotionally charged album bubbling with courage and defiance. 


        TRACK LISTING

        1. Where The Light Comes In
        2. Driving At Night
        3. You Know Me Better
        4. Workhorse
        5. I Promised You Light

        Josienne Clarke

        A Small Unknowable Thing

          For the first time since her early beginnings, Clarke is flying solo. No label, no musical partner, no producer. Clarke is in complete control of her songwriting, arranging, producing, release schedule and musical direction. While the themes might feel familiar to her fans, the musical journey will not, with Clarke taking in a wide range of new and diverse influences across the album – from Adrianne Lenker’s ‘Hours Were The Birds’, IDLES’ ‘Colossus’, Radiohead’s ‘Airbag’ to Phoebe Bridgers ‘Garden Song’ and more, the album’s touchstones span a vast musical collage of anger and hope. Lead single, ‘Sit Out’ is frustration and defiance in sonic form. “All you stand for / Makes me want to sit out” she sings over thick, driving guitars and an almost Beastie Boys-esque drum beat.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Barry says: Josienne Clarke's new album manages to take a diverse range of influences and seamlessly integrate them into a beautifully accomplished whole. The more cavernous percussion and distorted guitars perfectly offset Clarke's haunting vocals in the more meditative pieces here. A wonderful collection.

          TRACK LISTING

          Super Recogniser
          Like This
          Never Lie
          Chains
          If It’s Not
          Sit Out
          Sting My Heart
          The Collector
          Tiny Bit Of Life
          A Letter On A Page
          Deep Cut
          Out Loud
          Repaid
          Unbound 

          Josienne Clarke

          In All Weather

            ‘In All Weather’ is a new collection of songs in which Josienne Clarke goes it alone; musically, as this is her first solo record and in her own life, laid bare and played out in the leave-it-all-behind-andstart- anew nature of the lyrics. The songs were written in on the Isle of Bute in 2018, where Josienne relocated for a year, overlooked by a snowy Ben Nevis.

            Josienne accompanies herself on pared-back acoustic and electric guitar throughout. She’s joined on the record by experimental piano prodigy Elliott Galvin, innovative jazz drummer Dave Hamblett, celebrated Scottish harpist Mary Ann Kennedy and guitarist/bassist Sonny Johns, who co-produced the record with Josienne.

            TRACK LISTING

            (Learning To Sail) In All Weather
            Seconds
            The Drawing Of The Line
            Leaving London
            My Love Gave Me An Apple
            If I Didn't Mind
            Host
            Slender, Sad & Sentimental
            Season & Time
            Walls And Hallways
            Fair Weather Friends
            Dark Cloud
            Onliness

            Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker

            Seedlings All

              ’Seedlings All' is Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker’s first album to be made up of all original songs, and is songwriter Clarke's most autobiographical work to date. As she explains: “For the first time I’m out there alone with a bunch of songs that expose my insecurities, fears of failure and inflated pride. They deal with my own specific thoughts and feelings about the reality of pursuing this kind of career, the cost to personal relationships, circumstance and lifestyle, and asking the question - "Is this still worth it?” They’re about trying to find an inner balance in an environment that doesn’t provide any balance or certainty. Where one day everything is brilliant and the next day it could all be over. Where one night ends in a standing ovation and the next starts by playing to an empty room."

              TRACK LISTING

              Chicago
              Bells Ring
              Seedlings All
              Maybe I Won't
              Tender Heart
              All Is Myth
              Ghost Light
              Sad Day
              Things Of No Use
              Bathed In Light
              Only Me Only

              (Bonus CD)
              When To Then
              Milk And Honey
              For All We Know

              Josienne Clarke And Ben Walker

              Nothing Can Bring Back The Hour

                Now available on vinyl for the first time, Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker’s ‘Nothing Can Bring Back The Hour’ album from 2014.

                A year in the making, ‘Nothing Can Bring Back The Hour’ builds on the blend of traditional and contemporary songwriting first explored in 2013’s ‘Fire And Fortune’.

                Drawing on sumptuous chamber folk textures and rich instrumentation, this new record has a timeless yet current sound, examining and reflecting upon the theme of time past, present and future.

                Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker

                Overnight

                  Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker release their debut album for Rough Trade. The album which is self-produced, follows their Rough Trade debut, the ‘Through The Clouds' EP, which was released earlier this year.

                  ‘Overnight’ is their most ambitious record to date, focusing on Clarke’s extraordinary voice and lyrics, and Walker’s prodigious guitar-playing and arranging; the album features panoramic orchestration by an eclectic core of acclaimed musicians, including strings, horns, piano, double bass, and drums. The twelve songs – ten originals and two covers - recorded almost entirely live at Rockfield Studios in Wales - serve as a snapshot of the endless cycle of night into day and back again, morning light, into dusk, into black midnight, into greying dawn, and on, and on.

                  The album’s lilting first single, “The Waning Crescent,” is almost an answer in ballad form to the portrayal of the moon in traditional and popular music as a soothing, confessional, companion (i.e. “Blue Moon”). Coming at the darkest and stillest point in the album, the song – like the moon – brings a reassuring lightness.

                  Clarke explains, "I started to think about if I was the moon, what I might think and feel, and what the moon might sing back,” adding, “I’ve given it a slightly whiny, self-pitying quality because it’s whimsical and a bit funny.”


                  One of the poppier songs on the album, the sound of “The Waning Crescent” is meant to fit the song’s subject matter. “We’ve done vignettes before where we've taken on a musical genre because that’s what fits the concept of the song. On this one, we’ve used the ‘50s and ‘60s space-race era pop sound to deliberately compound the moon theme,” says Josienne.

                  Other ‘Overnight’ highlights include the stunning country/soul ballad “Something Familiar” and their marvelous take on Gillian Welch’s “Dark Turn Of Mind,” the eerie folk of “Dawn Of The Dark” and “The Light Of His Lamp,” and the traditional-leaning “Sweet The Sorrow” and “Weep You No More Sad Fountains,” the latter a traditional English ballad set to song.

                  Though Clarke & Walker’s previous work is very much steeped in the the folk tradition – the two in fact won the BBC Folk Award for Best Duo in 2015 – ‘Overnight’ draws just as much inspiration from more-straightforward 1970s AM radio rock like Fleetwood Mac or Neil Young as they do from folk-rockers like Fairport Convention or Joni Mitchell.

                  Josienne Clarke And Ben Walker

                  Through The Clouds

                    British duo Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker have risen to star status lately on the English acoustic scene, earning last year’s Best Duo award from the BBC Folk Awards and across-theboard praise for two self-released albums, most recently ‘Nothing Can Bring Back The Hour’, with its lush single ‘Silverline’.

                    Clarke and Walker release a new EP, ‘Through The Clouds,’ via Rough Trade, featuring a handful of the best tracks from their small catalogue, rearranged anew. ‘Through The Clouds’ is meant as an introduction to the duo; in addition to ‘Silverline’ it features a new, stripped-down version of ‘Done’ (ballads on opposite sides of love and loneliness), an alternate mix of the spooky Shirley Collins cover ‘Hares On The Mountain’ and the original album version of ‘The Tangled Tree’, a brilliant showcase of Clarke’s vocal range and expression.

                    While The Guardian anointed them “chamber folk” (they certainly cut their teeth in that thriving part of the UK music scene), Clarke is an unusually compelling singer, sharing more in common with Sandy Denny, Gillian Welch, or even Nina Nastasia and Laura Marling, than your usual staid folk artist. Walker is a prodigiously talented guitarist and arranger and the two of them are engaging and often funny in a live setting where, in addition to their own songs, they choose covers brilliantly, from Denny, to Jackson C Frank, to Nina Simone, to death-obsessed traditional ballads.

                    Clarke and Walker will be recording their Rough Trade debut album for an Autumn 2016 release, with an eye toward bringing bigger, more modern arrangements and production to their beautifully-wrought songs and Clarke’s tremendous voice.

                    “Clarke and Walker stand out due to their originality… Impressive.” - The Guardian

                    “A bold success” - The Telegraph


                    Latest Pre-Sales

                    149 NEW ITEMS

                    E-newsletter —
                    Sign up
                    Back to top