Song of the Day: The Clientele – Lunar Days

The Clientele

photo by Alan Lawrence (view set)

By Michael Tedder

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on The Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Lunar Days” by The Clientele from their album Music for the Age of Miracles, available now via Merge Records.

The Clientele – Lunar Days (MP3)

London’s The Clientele spent the ’00s waving the flag for reverbed-out, world-weary indie-pop, wedding intricate melodies to sardonic shrugs at ennui and life’s indignities, coated with a layer of dreamworld nonchalance deeply indebted to Galaxie 500. Their last major release was in 2010, and though there’s been reissues and one-off live shows and a smattering of singles since, the band was largely inactive, and fans had to wonder whether songwriter Alasdair MacLean had retired his beloved wit-pop institution to focus on family life or Amor de Días, the duo he formed with his partner Lupe Núñez-Fernández.

So it was a pleasant relief when The Clientele released this fall’s Music for the Age of Miracles and embarked on an American tour. His friend Anthony Harmer helped with the arrangements on Miracles, adding layers of gently-plucked nylon guitar strings, horns and backing harmonies from Núñez-Fernández, giving the whole endeavor a lush, bachelor’s pad pocket-orchestra feel worthy of Frank and Dean. “Lunar Days” is one of the standouts on the album; strolling along with an unhurried grace, MacLean sings of the changing of seasons and the days fading away as you feel like there’s no place to go during “the year that the monster woke up.” He’s disoriented in 2017, looking for solace in that gentle lilt his guitar makes when it’s played just so.

The Clientele was just in Seattle last month; we’ll be sharing video from their KEXP in-studio session on our YouTube channel soon. In the meantime, keep up with the band via Facebook and watch a video for their recent single “The Neighbour.”

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