Autumn is definitely my favorite season. It’s a shame that in Minnesota, it only lasts a month. In any case, I find some music to just sounds like autumn to me. I can’t really explain what about the music makes it “autumn-y”, but I know it when I hear it.
The Clientele are a band that I find myself listening to every year around this time because they typify that autumn sound. Somewhat melancholy and drenched in reverb, The Clientele’s dreamy pop songs are perfect for watching leaves fall. The band dates all the way back to 1991, when Alasdair MacLean and James Hornsey formalized the collaboration they began while in school. Under the name The Butterfly Collectors, they pieced their songs together into a full length album with help from a friend, but the album failed to gain any interest from record labels. Their friend left the band and Alasdair and James went on hiatus until 1997.
It wasn’t until 2000, when they released a collection of singles entitled Suburban Light, that the band found critical acclaim. However, as is often the case, that acclaim did not translate into album sales. The same was true for their follow up effort, The Violet Hour, released in 2003. Finally, in 2005, The Clientele released Strange Geometry, the album that would finally find their audience. Since then, the band has toured all over Europe and the U.S. and opened for bands such as Spoon. This year marked the release of yet another great album called God Save the Clientele.
Their sound is reminiscent of 1960’s dreamy pop. The listless guitars and reverbed vocals (which are made, in part, by running the mic through an amplifier) create a sound that I would describe as “impressionistic”. It’s a lovely mix.
So, as the winter slowly plucks the last remaining leaves from the tress on your street, take a listen to these two tracks from a great autumnal band and enjoy the moment.
The Clientele – Since K Got Over Me (from Strange Geometry)
The Clientele – The Queen of Seville (from God Save the Clientele)