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Release Details


Clements, Jim

A Failure
Release Date: October 26, 2018


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Every five years or so, Jim Clements emerges to drop a collection of literate, witty, surreal, gut-wrenching songs, before disappearing again into the shadows. A songwriter’s songwriter in the tradition of Leonard Cohen and Nick Cave, his songs have earned him critical acclaim and a devoted following over his fifteen-year career.

His new album, A Failure, moves away from the bittersweet country romanticism of his previous record towards a starker, more intimate, and lyrically-dense reflection on middle-age, anxiety, fatherhood, regret, and, yes, failure. In the spirit of Cave and Cohen, Clements maintains his dark humor in the face of the bleak subject matter, offering an unflinching but weirdly comforting perspective on life’s inevitable disappointments.

Clement’s career began with Kill Devil Hills, written and recorded in 2004 in Toronto, Canada on the Fading Ways label. This lushly-produced album, which received comparisons to Wilco, Elvis Costello, and Neil Young, featured songs about apocalyptic floods, earth-shaking angels, adultery, murder, and revenge. It earned its way onto several best-of-year lists in Canada, establishing him as a singer-songwriter to watch.

Kill Devil Hills was followed in 2008 by When the Saints Go, recorded in London, England with his band, The Right to Die. This lo-fi concept album, recorded in one drunken weekend, features messy, black-humored songs about visions, sinners, and saints, alongside Clements’s trademark bleak love ballads. The ramshackle live band became a fixture on the UK’s gigging circuit, and enjoyed a popular residency at Brixton’s Windmill.

Just as the band was hitting its stride with a sell-out CD release party at London’s Borderline in 2009, they were struck by a series of misfortunes, and Clements moved to the Middle East to begin his forty-days-and-nights in the desert. Here, he began to pen the more mature and reflective songs that would come to comprise his third album, The Road to Anhedonia. This reverb-soaked, rootsy breakup album, recorded in Vancouver in 2011, showed a more direct, mature side of Clements, earning him comparisons to Townes van Zandt, Gram Parsons, and Richard Hawley.

Now, Clements has returned with his fourth (and first self-produced) album, A Failure, written in fits and starts as he slowly began his half-decade-long journey back to real life in North America. During these between-times, Clements had been composing with no audience in mind (and no intention of releasing the material) for the first time since his teenage years. Eventually, after rediscovering his footing in Los Angeles, he began to slowly assemble an album in his new home, with the help of musician-friends in Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, and Iowa City. The result is A Failure, Clements’s strangest and most complex album to date.

Jim Clements – Not A Lot Of Blood (Lyric Video) from Jim Clements on Vimeo.


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