Posts Tagged ‘The Clientele’

Appropriately enough, The Clientele return to the fold with a brand-new album on the first day of autumn. Music for the Age of Miracles marks the band’s first new album in seven years.

The Clientele have always provided a serene sense of atmosphere in their music, with Alasdair MacLean’s vocals rarely having the tendency to ascend beyond a lush accompaniment through gorgeous arrangements fitted with strings and guitars at the forefront. For me at least, they’ve always exuded the sound of autumn. Having not released a full-length since 2009’s Bonfires on the Heath, it was worth wondering if the band would maintain the consistency of prior releases. Fortunately, Music for the Age of Miracles finds the band without hesitation, their hiatus ultimately resulting in my favorite album from the London-based act yet. Anthony Harmer contributes his skill of numerous non-Western stringed instruments (like santur and saz), working alongside MacLean to result in 12 strong tracks.

The combination of these string instruments and MacLean’s tendency for fluttering, serene guitar arpeggios results in a dreamy listening experience throughout. In essence, this very much sounds like classic The Clientele, though with more effective songwriting and instrumentation than ever their norm. The standouts are numerous. “Falling Asleep” chronicles the ascent of MacLean’s vocals, amidst prancing guitars throughout and riveting strings during the chorus. “Everything You See Tonight Is Different From Itself”, the following effort, injects brass into the fold over trickling guitars with precision, while “Everyone You Meet” serves as a great example of the band’s overall warmness. Music for the Age of Miracles seems to almost have a healing-like tendency, ideal for turning listeners in need of a stress ball into those content to stretch out and enjoy the beauty, ideally on an autumn day

This time around, Anthony Harmer joins the line-up of Alasdair MacLean (vocals, guitar), James Hornsey (bass), and Mark Keen (drums, piano, percussion), contributing string and brass arrangements as well as guitars, vocals, keyboards, saz, and Santoor.