American Clay’s first EP “Happenstance” is straight to the point. It sounds like some of the bands you may like playing something you’ve not heard before. Familiar. Nice. Warm. Etc. It’s released on September 9th 2016. Check it out here:
You can download Happenstance here:
Opener “Talk” was released as a 7” single via Northern Ireland’s Smalltown America Label, and also featured on London label Killing Moon’s most recent compilation “New Moons Vol V Part II”.
Following tracks “Turps” & “Gutted” carry on in the similar fashion of taking a new spin on something familiar. The closing song “Farm” is the only song that features the rest of American Clay’s live line up (Ross Stewart- Guitar, William Clapperton- Bass, Chris McKeown- Drums) on record. There’s also additional instrumentation from Luke Sutherland (Mogwai/Long Fin Killie) on Violin, Clay Morris (Trail of Dead) & Sarah Markey on Harp.
The rest of the EP was recorded solely by Martin Johnston, resulting in welcome comparisons to Dave Grohl’s role in the first Foo Fighters album.
It mustn’t go unsaid that these songs aren’t weak copies of alt-rock bands from the 90s. There are slightly odd marriages of influences on the recordings, resulting in something particularly organic.
There is the obvious love of MBV-esque huge, bending guitars and buried vocals, but the reason Johnston got into writing songs was due to a Bombay Bicycle Club gig he attended very early on in their career. The performance they put on inspired him to write some songs of his own, the raw excitement and power they put across live reminded him of why he fell in love with Nirvana. He got home later that night and picked up the guitar and began his venture into songwriting.
There is a fundamental love and evidence of pop sensibilities within the songs. Hooky melodies run throughout, as well as textural synths and vocal harmonies to highlight the presence of those melodies. The quiet loud dynamic is explored throughout the EP as well.
The artwork and visual elements for the EP go hand in hand with the sound presented on the record. These were made by Glasgow Artist Paul F. Wilkie (www.paulwilkie.net).
Check out the video for Turps & Talk below:
“There is literally nothing about this band that falls below the “really fucking into it” level of our own personal joygasmeter.”.- Killing Moon
“…for all of us that night it was our first experience of the band, and the reaction to the set was nothing short of phenomenal.”- BBC Radio Foyle DJ Stephen McCauley
The band have garnered radio play everywhere from BBC Radio Scotland to Seattle’s KEXP, earning them a place on Vic Galloway’s ones to watch list for 2016.