Music » Music Stories

The Clientele

Strange Geometry (Merge)

You know that old idea of "addition by subtraction"? Well, the Clientele has decided that it's total horse puckey. On the London trio's second full-length, the band diverges from its minimalist template of chiming guitars and brushed drums by layering on pillowy organ, noisy guitar bursts and a few brawny string parts (courtesy of UK cult icon Louis Philippe), making its melancholic folk-pop that much more striking. Throughout, Alasdair Maclean mixes a bit of cheer into his wavery, watery murmur — imagine a drowning sea captain noticing how pretty the moon is — while on "Losing Haringey" he grows downright nostalgic, delivering a lovingly detailed, spoken-word remembrance of London's past. The Clientele has always been able to write good songs; with a bit of Strange Geometry, the band has now written some great ones. — Dan Strachota

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