The Clientele are one of those bands that seem to float around, occasionally releasing records to a small, but loving fanbase, that never get much attention from the hype merchants. You dip into their records from time to time, savour their deliciously drowsy songs, which feel like dozing under a large sycamore tree on a warm, muggy day, before reluctantly moving back to something a little more lively. Today, spurred on by watching a video of them on YouTube, I decided to pop back into their back catalogue, and spent much of the day listening to their first record, Suburban Light.
It was only after deciding to write up what a lovely song “We Could Walk Together” is, that I decided to find something out about them. What did I find, oh enraptured reader? Well, that Suburban Light isn’t even a proper album, instead it’s a compilation of early singles, and that this track in particular is now 14 years old. 14! That’s not that interesting, I hear you say. Secondly, that they hail from Hampshire. Now, I’d always assumed they were from New Jersey, or maybe Richmond, Virginia, or somewhere in the Mid-West; that they’d spent their formative years playing through a thousand reverb pedals in a humid garage whilst outside crickets chirruped in the thickening, swampy night. I never, for one moment, thought they were from fucking Basingstoke1.
Anyway, illusion-shattering disclosures aside, their music is quite marvellous, in that woozy way. I was racking my brains to describe who they sound like – falling upon Felt, Yo La Tengo or Galaxie 500 as reference points, maybe – but as their MySpace page says, they sound like The Clientele2. Perfect for spending warm summer days indoors to.
1 Ok, so maybe they could be from Portsmouth, or Southampton. Or maybe Winchester. Not much better though, really. Especially not Portsmouth.
2 One day I shall write more about them as part of the Pitchfork 500 posts. In about 100 years time, at this rate.