Rob Clamp “Lost Soul”

Independent, 2024

A breezy first album delivered with seasoned ease.

Rob Clamp 2024, Lost SoulSouthampton singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Rob Clamp lights out on his first album, guitar in hand and rattle-bag of songs in tow. Clamp, winner of AUK’s The Twang Factor 3, showcases his talents with a powerful yet versatile vocal, blending American sensibility with his English roots.

A minor detour opens the album, the curiously didactic ‘The Rules of the Gig,’ offering audience instructions for appropriate gig etiquette, but is swiftly followed by ‘All Quiet on the Western Front,’ a stirring anti-war song that moves with the understated power of Mark Knopfler. The album’s title track boasts Celtic influences, emoting with the romanticism of the Waterboys’ ‘big music,’ as Clamp sings, “Don’t tell me who I am or where I need to go, I’m just a lost soul…. Searching for a home.

It’s a journeying record, filled with an urge for going. We find ourselves on a lengthening road, map in hand. While on the beautifully infectious ‘Icarus,’ he yearns to soar above the world altogether, “Just let me go, I won’t fly to the sun too close…

Who Shot JFK?’ like Bob Dylan’s ‘Murder Most Foul,’ treats the death of JFK as an epochal moment, a totem event, a fork in the road, marking, “We’ll never know how it was meant to end.” It’s an intriguing diversion.

The Riverside‘ rolls rhythmically, and ‘My Father’s Son’ is an emotional tribute to his father, navigating between folk traditionalism and the earthier side of indie rock. The mix of styles and themes takes us across the map, yet Clamp demonstrates a musical virtuosity and easygoing adaptability. Indeed, the cohesive element is the relaxed nature of his delivery and emotive sheen that feels destined for crossover success.

While the map is wide, one senses Clamp’s future is equally open-ended; certainly, he has talent enough to take him in any direction of his choosing.

7/10
7/10

About Tom Harding 10 Articles
A writer with a love of all things country, folk, jazz and blues. By night I'm a poet with two published poetry books from Palewell Press, latest available now, "Afternoon Music." www.tomharding.net
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Joy Clamp

Excellent album