Release Date: Mar 2, 2010
Record label: Brassland
Genre(s): Rock, Alternative, Experimental, Classical
When Clogs released the Veil Waltz EP in late January-- one new song, with some incidental music and a few unreleased odds and ends-- you'd be forgiven for thinking the post-rock band's forthcoming LP would again be a mostly instrumental mix of modern classical, rock, and jazz. But like their new approach to cover art-- once muted and minimal; here a spectrum of vivid color-- the National's Bryce Dessner and co. have crafted a new version of Clogs that revels in pushing boundaries and redefining their sound.
The Clogs fifth full-length release builds on the avant-garde chamber ensemble’s foundation of kaleidoscopic, indie-classical instrumentals by adding equally unpredictable lyrics and vocals. Multi-instrumentalist Padma Newsome, who composed all of the songs during a 2005 residency at Italy’s botanical island paradise, Giardini La Mortella, has crafted a typically labyrinthine and cinematic collection of disparate melodies that draw inspiration from wells all over the world. The quartet is aided in this venture by a trio of guest vocalists including Sufjan Stevens and Matt Berninger (The National), but more specifically, opera singer-turned indie rocker Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond), who appears on six of the ten songs that make up Creatures in the Garden of Lady Walton.
If one wants to understand the difference between merely writing a song and composing a song, listen to 99.9% of contemporary music, and then turn on Clogs. Composed by Padma Newsome during a residency in 2005, The Creatures in the Garden of Lady Walton features some stirring compositions that walk the line between classical and something else entirely. .
The beguiling fifth effort from Brooklyn/Sydney indie classical quartet Clogs is a study in refinement. Composed by member Padma Newsome during a residency at Italy's Giardini La Mortella, the folkie, melodic song cycle is fuelled by gentle acoustic guitar, bassoon, percussion and Newsome's viola. [rssbreak] It won't be everyone's cup of tea. My Brightest Diamond's Shara Worden sings on over half of the tracks, and her operatic voice is at times jarringly high.
Embraces the listener with a silken touch, seducing them with beguiling beauty. Mike Diver 2010 Padma Newsome’s Clogs – the group he co-founded with fellow member of The National, Bryce Dessner, back in the late 1990s – have long defied easy pigeonholing, delivering four albums of ambitious chamber-music-meets-jazz, via post-rock instrumentals between 2001 and 2006. This, their fifth long-play set, arrives after a four-year break in releases – and, more pertinently, represents the ensemble’s first foray into material with vocals.