Josienne Clarke “Parenthesis, I”

Corduroy Punk, 2024

album cover art Josienne Clarke Parenthesis IComplex, often dazzling and emotive work from artist fulfilling her potential.

Opening with the hymnal ‘The Calm‘ the new album by Josienne Clarke is a measured and maturing work following her previous releases. Clarke’s vocals remain the focus but the songwriting feels stronger and a more focused and the arrangements are beautifully empathetic and layer the songs with depth and expression. ‘Dead Woman’s Bones’ features Clarke’s icy vocals as well as hypnotic flutes whilst ‘Do You Know Now’ is a clipped and delicate question framed by a sudden ending and yearning vocal. The mainly acoustic instrumentation works well in highlighting the folky yet indie aesthetic found in tracks such as ‘Double Edged Sword’  and ‘Fear Of Falling’, the latter track falling into a more traditional folk arrangement as the song develops and Clarke’s voice begins to soar with its breathy inflection and intonation lingering over the aching bridge. There’s a hint of Eva Cassidy’s ‘Fields of Gold’ here in both delivery and melody. The piano in ‘Firecracker’ adds another welcome colour to the musical palate, ranging free over the swing of the song itself.

This is a complex album that requires attention and despite its easily accessible melodies and seemingly simple lyricism rewards patient investigation and repeated listens. The humour and dazzling vocals of ‘Friendly Teeth’ bring wry smiles of recognition upon returning and the title track grows more and more special with time. A lovely thing.

8/10
8/10

About Keith Hargreaves 393 Articles
Riding the one eyed horse into dead town the scales fell from his eyes. Music was the only true god at once profane and divine The dust blew through his mind as he considered the offering... And then he scored it out of ten and waited for the world to wake up
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