The Clientele "I Am Not There Anymore"
The Clientele’s I Am Not There Anymore regularly evokes what singer-guitarist Alasdair MacLean calls “the feeling of not being real.” Recording for the album began in 2019 and continued piecemeal until 2022—in part because of the pandemic, but also because the band wanted to experiment. “We’d always been interested in music other than guitar music, like for donkey’s years,” MacLean says. This time out, he and bassist James Hornsey and drummer Mark Keen incorporated elements of post-bop jazz, contemporary classical, and electronic music. According to MacLean, “None of those things had been able to find their way into our sound other than in the most passing way, in the faintest imprint.”This stretching out—what MacLean calls “a leap forwards and to the side”—can be heard clearly in lead single “Blue Over Blue,” with its percussive samples and its moments where the arrangement opens up suddenly into something cinematic in scope, with horns and strings.
MacLean says I Am Not There Anymore is all about “the memory of childhood but at the same time the impossibility of truly remembering childhood… or even knowing who or what you are.”