CLARE: ALWAYS AFTERNOON
Combining honest pop lyrics with effective riffs resembling late 80’s alternative rock bands such as the Cure, Clare presents the ability to add their own dream-pop twist to sounds like Sonny and The Sunsets or Current Joys.
Composed of Ari Alvarado, Kendall Bousquet, Mandy Clinton, and Anna Garza, the Houston four piece brings the immortal authenticity of Poison Moon records to an indie pop scene. Their most recent EP, Always Afternoon, seems like something I have to blast at full volume while driving down a busy, neon-lit road on a Friday night.
The self-described jangle pop band begins their latest EP with a fast-paced song “L.A.” This track seems oddly dark yet romantically characterizes an episode of young love; Clare describes a quickly-approaching absence: 'On Saturday we were laying in my room/ You told me you were moving to L.A./That’s O.K. I don’t think I’ll miss you.' These lines can be connected to the brief, beautiful experience that teenage relationships can be. “Loquats,” the second and shortest song on the EP, is a gorgeous, yet unglamorous narrative for a continuation of themes established in the first track. The lyric 'the season is over and so are we,' is sung quickly after an explanation of early-relationship experiences, highlighting the quick nature of some companionship. In the middle of the EP, delightful tracks “I’ll Show You” and “Far,” carry the listener into a dreamy balance of upbeat pop. Clare returns to the upbeat on the track “Dress,” offering fast-paced, Super 8 imagery of nostalgic memories accompanied by angry ones. Finishing out the EP with “Always Afternoon” followed by “Cherry Moon,” Clare presents a catchy, mature conclusion to the previously established themes of careless, young love. 'So mad at you but I still need you close...I know we keep in touch/But it’s still not enough.' Sonically, this track sounds like a grown-up version of the first song, “L.A.”
Comparisons aside, throughout Always Afternoon, Clare, as they mix genres resulting in their own style, is able to create an impressive understanding of the power that art allows: you can do anything you want.