Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Ian Grimble and Richard Matthews at 2KHz at Church Studios in Crouch End, London
These days - at this part of the year - seem like they should be a little unpredictable than they really are. It's that time - this very early spring - when you've yet to take any balminess for granted. You prepare to go outside, thinking that you definitely need one layer more than you actually do. You are sure that it's going to be more brisk than it is and then it hits you again, that these are the days that we've been waiting months for. These are the ones that we don't throttle back to chilliness. Everything is just another shade of seasonable and pleasant. These are the days when we look for any excuse to cut out from work, to daydream and to wander. We walk around, with sunglasses on and arms bared, all in a blissful daze. It's easy to say, "To hell with everything, I'm on a break," and just make it last half the afternoon.
Clock Opera, the London outfit that's fronted by Guy Connelly, is a band that - while pressing forward with serious matters and a tone that is of desperate longing and preparation for tougher times, for the winter that's sure to be coming next - is almost sure to make your mind scatter a little into particles that need to just get up and walk out. They impress upon you that sensation of walking down a hallway, lit entirely by artificial light, and opening a door to an outside that is suddenly flush with bright yellow and the endorphins burst off in your head like aneurysms, making you hurt and feel elated at the same time. It's as if you just had so many of the heavy loads wrenched away from you for a little reprieve, even though there's still no doubt that you'll have to rejoin those loads, already in progress with the walkabout has concluded.
There are boisterous ohhs and ahhs, woos and whoas throughout the music of Clock Opera, but essentially these tales are those of shipwrecks, disasters and lost innocence, not those of whimsy. Somehow, though, they come across as songs that could lift us and hold us up over raging waters if we needed those helping hands. Without even having to do it, we're riding around with the windows down and our hands straight up in the air, resisting no longer, just surrendering to our headaches and hat little rock that's been shifting around in our shoe all day, maybe all week. It's just the heat that we're dealt and we've got to rise. Connelly, with these anthems, almost makes it seem as if we're going to survive. We might just barely survive, but we're gonna do it. He sings, "When did we lose everything we were so sure of back then/How do we know it won't happen again," and there are tints to the questions that suggest that the answers don't matter. We know shit's gonna occur. We'll just have to go walking with Connelly's voice in our heads another time.