JOSIENNE CLARKE – ” Things I Didn’t Need “

Posted: September 27, 2019 in MUSIC
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The voice and the space between the words are unmistakably Josienne Clarke. ‘Things I Didn’t Need’ is a powerfully brittle love song. The arrangements of all the songs are barer than the chamber folk of SEEDLINGS ALL, Josienne’s stunning 2018 duo album with Ben Walker. There is room to hear every emotional syllable and nuance with voice, strummed electric guitar and some atmospherics to make the whole thing crackle. The effect is hypnotic, giving weight and power to every word.

Expect to hear these tracks soundtracking poignant moments in arty TV dramas soon. ‘Season And Time’ features a beautiful picked acoustic and Clarke’s wonderfully melancholic voice with some wonderful lyrics. ‘Never Lie’ adds some atmospheric textures and layers to Josienne’s fine voice and guitar, building a wonderful soundscape. Three tracks, individually sublime, also act as a starter, hinting at the rich treasures and sounds on Josienne Clarke’s forthcoming album that she describes as filled with misery, anger and a, longing for better.

Opening lines can be so crucial to a song, the way they set a mood, create a scene and instantly plant the listener squarely in the centre of proceedings. “You’ve got your problems but I’m the one that needs to change”, is how Josienne Clarke’s new single, If I Didn’t Mind, greets you. Instantly thrusting you into the centre of a failing relationship, a row so instantly real you feel like you’re going to be ducking flying plates and pulling your hands out of the ways of slammed doors. The track is lifted from Josienne’s upcoming debut album, In All Weather, a record about pulling yourself out and starting again, “I exiled myself, moved to an island, metaphorically and literally; broke up with everything but songwriting, to re-make myself and learn to let it all go in peace”.

Built around a fluttering bass-line, and rolling drum beat, most of the track’s melody is carried by Josienne’s vocal. Throughout there’s a calmness and a strength to the delivery, that doesn’t disguise the hurt underneath, almost if Josienne is steadying herself determined to make her point. Discussing the album as a whole, Josienne has suggested In All Weather is, “a manifesto of how to leave and how to change”, a series of songs about breaking-up and crucially about moving on, on this evidence one enthusiastic writers claim that these are, “the best break-up songs since Blood on the Tracks”, might actually have some legs.

In All Weather is out November 8th via Rough Trade Records.

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