Clare and the Reasons
Available now on Frog Stand Records
Sometimes it’s necessary to leave one’s usual stomping ground for a while to be truly inspired to create. Brooklynites Clare and the Reasons did just that to make their new album, KR-51 - traveling to Germany to write and record over 8 months last year. The band soaked up Berlin culture and architecture, oftentimes from the seat of an old KR-51 Schwalbe motorbike. When the group had finished writing, they packed up once more and drove to the German village of Haldern-Rees to settle-in and record. The result of all their travel is an intricately composed collection of songs largely influenced by the foreigner’s experience of life on the other side.
Much of KR-51 buzzes with a welcome and dark mysteriousness that hinges on the whispery childlike voice of Clare Manchon and the epic contributions by the Orchestre de Paris. Album opener and single, “The Lake,” begins with the simple tick-tock of an acoustic guitar alarm clock and lap steel haunts that trace Clare’s sleepy vocal hook. The band’s scope of ambition is evident when the chorus drops in with a thick beat, lush string arrangements and syncopated synthesizer whirlings. The album picks up speed with “Bass Face,” a poppy dance song of short, energetic vocal phrases and reeling, distorted guitars à la Dirty Projectors.
The fluttering, string-heavy production of “Westward” provides an adequate backdrop for the album’s most outwardly thematic lyrics - “She had just one suitcase / She doesn’t take a radio / She understands the great big blue / And where she comes from fades to sky.” While Brooklyn serves as muse to plenty of bands these days, Clare and the Reasons were right to leave it in search of their own. KR-51 is available now on Frog Stand Records.