The Clientele

Bonfires On The Heath (Merge)


Rating: NNN


The Clientele’s fourth album continues the English band’s tradition of sculpting breathy, reverb-drenched, Zombies-informed psych pop that aches with melancholy without ever approaching dreariness. And they do it better here than last time around, incorporating more expansive instrumentation (horns, sitar, jazzy guitar rhythms) and an overall spookier sonic palette.

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A few tunes – Sketch and Share The Night – attempt upbeat disco rock, and it’s not pretty, although opening track I Wonder Who We Are gets the balance right. The quartet is at its best when hushed, autumnal and kaleidoscopic. Still, you can’t blame them for trying to push the envelope, especially since singer Alasdair MacLean has stated that Bonfires could be the band’s final bow.

Top track: Never Anyone But You

The Clientele play the Horseshoe March 19.

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