It's all too much. I can't take it any more. My mind is all wrong. I'm going back in my room, closing the curtains, and getting back into bed. The real world is too cold, too cruel, too hard. I want to live in a dream. I want to step into darkness. I want to retreat into fantasy, back to that wonderful, warm, hazy dream-world halfway between sleep and dreaming, straddling the thin line between precarious sanity and barking madness...
Clearlake is the band for these sorts of days, and 'Cedars' is the soundtrack for these sorts of moods. This isn't the twee, fluffy kitten side of indiepop, sticking its fingers in its ears and singing "La la la, I can't hear you" - it's the sound of shutting down, of being unable to cope, fear and self loathing shot through with a desperate sort of hope for something better, because there has to be something better (can't get no worse). It's beautiful and delicate and scary and terrifying yet strangely inspiring, like that lone figure battling through an English rainstorm, soaked to the skin, collar turned up, umbrella blown inside out, but soldiering on with an admirable bloody-mindedness. Cheer up love, it might never happen. Mustn't grumble.
It's a familiar and oddly reassuring musical landscape, mixing traditional Tin Pan Alley English Music Hall melody with rages of woozy psychedelia. Swirling fairground organ, big, swooping guitars and lovely minor melodies twirling over the top. Blur wrote about this world on Modern Life Is Rubbish. Syd Barrett has lived his entire life here. Ray Davies is the mayor and The Smiths wrote the town charter. Pulp visit in their darker moments of self doubt. Your angsty blandrock bands
I crave Clearlake like I crave putting the kettle on and making a cup of tea. I love Clearlake like I love zipping up my favourite cardigan. I need Clearlake like I need my big, soft, smothering duvet. When the world gets too much, put on Cedars. You'll feel better, I promise.
8Fiona Fletcher's Score