SEASONS IN THE (SORT OF) SUN: The Clientele Return To Rainy Days & Suburban Light

Right now, around here at RPM HQ, there’s been cause for rejoicing that one of our most beloved bands of the past fifteen-plus years, the Clientele, are back to making music, have recorded a new album (their first since 2010’s EP, ‘Minotaur’), and are touring the States for the first time in three years. We’ve had a few teasers to tide us over in the interim, such as the sumptuous reissue — on vinyl, no less — of the British group’s spellbinding debut album, 2000’s “Suburban Light”; and a best-of collection, “Alone and Unreal,” that served as an essential primer and lovely overview of what, in our estimation, was some of the most gorgeous pop music being made during the first decade of the new millennium. But the announcement this summer that a brand new album, entitled “Music for the Age of Miracles,” would be loosed upon us (and yes, this truly ravishing new entry to the Clientele canon came out this September) was, quite literally, music to our attentive ears. To celebrate this occasion and the band’s tour stop at The Sinclair in Cambridge, Massachusetts Saturday night (not far from our neck of the woods), we’re reissuing and re-posting a Clientele piece of history of our own: According to singer-songwriter Alasdair Maclean himself, what awaits you below was the very first feature profile of the band and interview published anywhere in the United States. That made us very happy to hear from Mr. Maclean back then, and it continues to do so.
Moreover, the piece (we’ve left our original preamble intro from our 2014 post intact, so don’t be thrown by the initial timeline confusion … we’re not really three years behind; 30 or 40 years maybe, but not three) is also an appetizer for what’s on tap (fingers crossed) this weekend: an exclusive and brand new “RPM: Life In Analog” Q&A interview with Alasdair, conducted in the midst of the Clientele’s new tour and on the eve of the band’s arrival in Cambridge. He’ll talk about getting back together with his old mates (and reconnecting with an old friend who helped inspire the new batch of songs); and how fatherhood has shaped his perspective and approach to the themes that course through the Clientele’s music. Oh, we’ll also have brand new videos in store, made especially for “Music for the Age of Miracles.” In the meantime, if you’re unfamiliar (or just jonesing for these guys), you can catch up, revisit, and refresh with this first-ever stateside feature and interview with the band, conducted at the dawn of a new century by yours truly. Of course, there are also some tasty audio-visual treats to accompany your stroll down memory lane.

RPM: Jonathan Perry's Life in Analog

The UK cover to the Clientele's "Suburban Light." The UK cover to the Clientele’s “Suburban Light.”

Some records stay with you. Aside from the memorable music that usually accompanies, well, a memorable album, chances are that you were probably either doing or feeling something special the first time you heard those sounds — falling in love,  finishing your finals, strolling down the memory lane of your old childhood haunts, or road-tripping with your best friends. Right then, everything felt alright. Or maybe it was a case of the music soothing your soul like a balm that got you through some especially tough times.

For me, I’ll never hear bluesman John Lee Hooker the same again; a man whose music is always funky, gritty, groovy, yes. But Hooker is  an artist(John Lee has since departed this mortal coil, but I prefer to think of  him as always present because his music remains timeless) and spiritual sage whose music was (and is) at…

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