gullbuy music review

The Clientele


Lost Weekend EP




The Clientele CD EPI miss Galaxie 500. It's not because The Clientele sound like them, but sometimes their sound has that same dreamy feel. When I first heard them a few years ago, I had a similar reaction when I first listened to Galaxie 500. Can they sound that dreamy live? Luckily they do. Alistair's half whispered, half breathed vocals draw you in, especially when he adds his falsetto to their shimmering, impressionistic pop. 'Lost week-end' feels like a circular ep. The tracks seem to go through all four seasons, and that's a good thing.

Track 1 'North School Drive' is the shortest proper track, at less than 3 minutes. It reminds me of early January days that you wish would last longer, but you know you have to wait a month or two for that. Alistair's strumming is almost absent here, replaced by his tinkling of the ivories with gentle bass and brush drums. It has a melancholy feel with cinematic images of fading memories, like watching someone get smaller as a car pulls further away 'Headlights in the driveway are a mirage.. Feel it stretch into an empty night..'

Track 2 'Boring Postcard' recorded in a tube station, maybe Holloway Road station in North London, bleeds into Track 3 'Emptily through Holloway', which seems like the centerpiece of this ep, since they printed the lyrics on the inner jacket. It's about parting company and the ensuing emptiness. Alistair's singing is as ethereal as ever here, especially when he breaks into his falsetto during the chorus 'Friday night to Sunday morning I go on...I don't know if I am really here at all...' Maybe this is about how hope springs eternal.

Track 4 'Kelvin Parade' is where the sun breaks through the clouds. It's the most up tempo number here, breezing along effortlessly. It has some 60s sounding electric piano and echoing guitar and Alistair's vocals are strongest here. It builds to a nice crescendo here as he pleads 'Won't you ride home with me...' over and over again. This is probably my favorite track.

Track 5 'Last Orders' is a 6 and a half minute piano instrumental with some sad and spooky parts that get you when your (well my) mind wanders during the quieter parts. I don't know if I would have ended this ep with such an autumnal track, but given my poor attention span for most instrumentals, the cool feel of this track works.

I like this ep, especially track 4. It's been awhile since The Clientele have released anything and this is a welcome addition to their work.

---Tina Glyptis, April 23, 2002