CLARA ENGEL- Looking-Glass Fire.




Some of the greatest singers/bands go unheard for years before someone is turned onto them. Time is just a thing, a measurement for those who need everything to be validated when really time is one of the least important things in existence. But time is something we all run out of. Like hope, love and faith. It is something that can be strengthened and lost. It is something you cannot control.

Singers like Imogen Heap and Brandy St John have this ability to get right to the core of what you are feeling, in a way that makes you curl up because you dislike the fact someone else posses the ugly feelings you try to hide. But the fact that they aren’t afraid to let it out makes you feel less alone and horrific for carrying it around with you. There is a singer who I believe fully is as great as Imogen and Brandy St John. I’ve written about Clara a few times, and her voice is like the ocean- crystal clear and beautifully therapeutic.

Her new record, Looking-Glass Fire is out 16th June and going by hearing only two songs from it I can honestly say it is my favourite record by Clara. Lesser Known God has a beautifully gnarly tone to it. It makes you think of Patti Smith belting out her call to the outcasts at CBGBs with such force and purpose. Like Patti, Clara can sing in an aggressive tone then flip to having this gorgeous angelic sound. She sings with utter passion that can make non-singers like myself envious of her voice.

Her words are poems for the soul; in the hopes of clinging onto something, anything just to get through the day. Take baby-steps whilst listening to her music and you’ll get there. I can imagine people leaving Clara’s live shows in tears after experiencing a voice so pure and a talent so rare. She is bold, honest and just a beautiful soul. Her songs are humble life lessons for anyone- regardless of who you are, what you do, just anything. Her music and her voices sets part of you free that nothing else really can. I adore the line “If I’m no good, well you’re no better” from her song Be Good. She writes lyrics that you can study or quite simply, see yourself in.

Clara’s voice has this way of soothing the soul whilst making you truly aware of all that you are feeling, and more importantly WHY you are feeling what you are feeling. It’s alright to have ugly feelings, it’s totally normal. Music is an outlet for so many people and is something to believe in. Clara’s lyrics, her songs…they are believable. If you can share your vulnerabilities in such a way, then people will believe. She’s just brilliant, I really cannot praise her enough. Her music could be played in the background of Poe or Ted Hughes poem. She’s a real inspiration.

You can pre-order her record, Looking-Glass Fire here:

Clara Engel- The Lovebird’s Throat.

“Disembody my voice, let the rivers fly up to the stars. I’ll never look back, and i’ll never look down.”

Last year, I developed a healthy music based obsession with a Canadian singer called Clara Engel. I loved everything her music did to me. It made me feel like I was in some kind of horror movie being metaphorically chased by demons and ghouls. Everything scared me, but at the same time made me feel like I had found a singer that I needed to have amongst my collection. A singer that speaks so much truth in every single song. A singer that I will always back and be constantly frustrated that isn’t signed. A singer that deserves all the hype these manufactured idiots get, and she gets virtually none. If I had my way, I’d have my own label and all those I love (and aren’t signed) would be signed, and would basically take over the world. However, I am familiar with “you don’t get what you want.” SO true, so very true.

Clara’s words are as sinister, romantic and as honest as my favourite writer of all time- Edgar Allan Poe. Her lyrics read like an Edgar Allan Poe story. The Lovebird’s Throat is such a gorgeous EP that I wish everyone could hear. For anyone that somehow sees this- please get a copy of it. Everything you have ever heard before will not mean as much as her new EP does. Everything you have ever heard before may seem shallow in comparison to the depths in her music.

The Lovebird’s Throat takes you on a devilish trip to the underworld. If you want to come back from it, you’re not listening to it right. If it makes you want to slip further into the dark-side, then you have connected. Her music will drag you from hell and into a world where such feelings aren’t only just felt by you. The atmosphere she creates is nothing short of perfect. The tension and fury in her voice leaves you in awe. She’s a much-needed force, there is no denying that at all. She’s a singer I cannot praise enough. The Lovebird’s Throat is an EP I equally cannot praise enough, you may as well call it as one of the best EPs to come out this year.

You can get The Lovebird’s Throat from Clara’s bandcamp page :

New Music Is Good For The Soul.

I know I tend to listen to old stuff rather than new, but every so often I like to subject my ears to something new so I don’t become one of those people who whinge and say, “I remember when music….” I just don’t want to miss out on anything good. And I like to think with the music I’m going to put here is a billion times better than the tripe you will hear on a commercial wanky radio station. I do not need to tell you which station, do I? No.

I won’t bother writing a huge essay, you don’t need that. And quite frankly, I want to go make myself a cup of tea. So here, have some songs :

Clara Engel (part 2)

I know I’ve written about her before, but this time it is different. This time, it is more of a plea..begging, if you will. I’ve not been asked to do this (I’m not a fan of being told what to do.) I’m doing this because aside from a very small amount of people- Music is THE most important thing to me.  It breaks my heart when I see talent go ignored. This is going back to my distress over Doll And The Kicks splitting up and society lapping up all these talentless programmes. For what? Their 15 minutes of fame has been and gone. Doll And The Kicks had talent..have talent. I don’t know which tense to write in. Anyway, moving on- before I start rambling about them and turn this into begging them to get back together.

Last year, I recieved an email from Clara telling me about her music. This is the only time I ever do what I’m told. If a singer or band emails me about their music- I will ALWAYS write about them, and do what I can to help. When I listened to Clara’s voice I felt exactly the same way I felt when I first heard Cat Power, The Kills, Florence + The Machine, Warpaint.

Her music is so dark, and her voice is insanely powerful. She grips you, wraps herself right around you with her words and exquisite voice. You don’t want her to ever losen the grip. There’s something here that I’ve never heard before. I probably won’t hear anything like that again.

If you’re familiar with Pledge Music then you’ll understand just vital sites like that are. You donate; your favourite artist gets to put their music out.

Clara’s an Independent artist in the truest form. Everything she does; she does by herself. However, sometimes as brilliant as it is to be Independent- we all need help from time to time. So, if you care about Music. The real kind that tugs at every inch of you, makes your heart race and owns your soul; then please help out in any way you possibly can.

That link will explain everything for you. Don’t forget to check out some of Clara’s music here too :

This will be her 8th album, so it’s about time someone saw the talent and signed her.

If she ever comes to England, I will make sure I buy her a nice cup of tea (or wine) to just say thank you for staying true to the art. These are the kind of people we should admire and sign.

Thank you.


Reality Killed The Artist….

Part of me is reluctant to write this, but then the intelligent part of me realised I shouldn’t care if anyone agrees or not. I’m fully aware no one will- good job I write for me and not to please other people. If it offends, I’m not sorry.

It’s that vile time of year again where the TV is polluted with talentless folks clinging onto their sob stories in hope of becoming a signed recording artist. Little do they know that their shelf life will be at least 2 years, then its someone else’s turn. How can people watch this show and think, “THIS IS GOING TO CHANGE MY LIFE! MY DOG HAS DIED! I MUST ACT LIKE I CAN SING!” Oh just fuck off. For the love of something, just take yourself away. Far far far AWAY.

These reality shows make me angry at the best of times, but after reading an article written by someone who I regard as a highly influential musician and person; my level of angst reserved for these talentless shows proceeded to rise.

A lot of music I listen to comes from artists that are either on a small label or unsigned. I don’t listen to them because I want to be different. I listen to them because they have heart, passion and meaning. These artists have worked themselves to the bone to put a single out. They will play bus shelters just to make a few pounds so they can eat. They work 2 jobs just to pay for studio time- but do you know who they are? No you don’t. But you could probably list the last 5 winners of X-Factor couldn’t you? How can a 13 year old declare “I’VE WANTED THIS MY WHOLE LIFE.” Child please, you’ve not gone through puberty yet and your mum still dresses you. Your only struggle in life was choosing what cereal to have.

I read JD Samson’s article last night, and I couldn’t believe what I was reading. How can someone, who was part of a band that was a huge part of my life for so long, be so utterly broke? I completely sympathise with JD about being broke. I currently can’t afford to buy a loaf of bread. Although, I guess cutting it out of my diet will cause me to stop being chubby. But seriously, how can an artist so talented and inspirational- have nothing at all? This isn’t right. It’s beyond disgusting that someone with so much talent has nothing to show for it. Yet these fools that prance around every weekend on stage and get praised or shot down by people who claim to have some kind of talent/knowledge of something musically related will end up making millions.

Why does someone get excited every weekend to watch this shit? Go on, go read a book- I dare you. I dare you to listen to something with heart such as Clara Engel or Doll And The Kicks. Go on, fuck what you are told to listen to and consume. For once, think for yourself.

The thing is, with me feeling this way I’m probably going to be labelled as wrong, a pretentious piece of shit who has no idea what they are on about. Truth be told, I’m just someone who is beyond passionate about music and it kills me to think that people regard what they see on X-Factor as “good.” When it really isn’t. Good music will outlive you. When you die, your grandkids and their grandkids will not be talking about who won X-Factor in 2010. They will still be talking about how influential the Rolling Stones are. They’ve been going for fucking decades. Their energy is inspiring; they have more energy and charisma than those who twat about on stage for their 15 minutes of fame.

When you see something you adore just fall to pieces, you feel compiled to pour your heart out expressing your worries and frustrations.

It’s basically a cattle market. They are lined up, told to sing. They then break down on stage. Told they aren’t good enough. Told they are good enough. Told to go away. Start crying. Tell a story about a dead gerbil. It’s the same old dire sequence every single time. You know what’s worse? When people who more than likely have a mental health problem go on stage and are just mocked by those who watch it.

How would YOU feel if you stood on a stage and everyone just laughed at you? How would YOU feel if a relative of yours was being exploited like this?

A lot of the people that appear on this awful show look like they’ve just stepped out of Topshop, stand as if they have shit themselves and warble for two minutes. There is NO personality. There is NO depth to them. Come on people, wise up to this shit. You do not have to buy into it. Save yourselves, save music. Believe in GOOD music from the heart.

A band that I’ve adored for years, Doll And The Kicks have toured with Morrissey and put out an (self funded I must add) album. They’re not signed, but they are so fucking talented. They could easily be this country’s biggest and best band. As they are not signed, nobody pays them any attention. It’s heartbreaking and it is so wrong. Their music is different from anything else around. They have something so bloody good to offer- but does anyone care? No. Because if they did, they would be signed by now. However, I guess they’ve done something an X-Factor contestant will never do. Support the greatest male singer of all time, Morrissey.

I’ve frequently had emails from artists that are unsigned email me and ask if I would write about them here, I always do. Last night after hearing Clara Engel’s voice whilst reading JD Samson’s article, I knew that I was listening to something so precious. I was listening to someone who may never be as “famous” as the idiots on these reality shows, but its okay. It’s okay because I felt something in her music that just left me in awe. It made me believe again. When you can find an artist that makes you feel that way, you can shut off all the shit around you that you are apparently supposed to enjoy.

When these contestants put their music out, they are depriving real musicians of being recognised. I urge you to find an artist that is not signed or not well known and just promote the shit out of them. Start a blog about them, bombarded radio stations with their songs, make a Facebook page about them, write to magazines about them- help them out. We need them; we do not need manufactured drivel that has no worth.

Clara Engel.

There is honestly nothing better than an artist finding my blog and emailing me, asking if I would write about them on here.

You know that feeling you get when you listen to someone and your eyes pop out of their sockets. Your jaw drops and you just say, “OH FUCK” as you listen to their music? That pretty much happened as I listened to her music. My reaction wasn’t just caused because of her amazing talent, but because she reminds me of someone whom I adore SO much Patti Smith. I honestly never ever thought I’d hear a voice that matches up to Patti Smith’s at all. But, looks like I have. Hello new musical crush.

I love anything that has massive sounding drums in it. Anything that sounds menacing and dark, such as Anna Calvi, Zola Jesus and Chelsea Wolfe. This is exactly why I’ve just fallen insanely in love with Clara Engel’s music. Her song, Lick My Fins (I love this title a lot) has perfect drums on it. It makes you feel like you are being stalked by her. You feel like she is stalking you through a dark alleway as she sings this haunting song at you. You can pick up the pace and try to escape- but let’s be honest, you’ve got no chance. Why would you want to turn yourself away from music as stunning as this?

Her song, Heaven And Hell is so beautiful. The lyrics are just so enthralling, she really causes your heart to skip a beat as you listen to it she does it with every song. Even more so with Heaven And Hell. It’s such a delicate and heartbreaking song to listen to. If you’re not moved by it, then I guess you don’t have a heart. The song makes it okay to be afraid, what you’re afraid of though, well, that’s your own personal fear.

She’s got a hint of Patti and PJ Harvey in her music, and as someone who is hugely obsessed with the two- I am honoured to be writing about Clara Engel. I’m not a fan of covers. I’ll only like them if they sound NOTHING like the original, it’s important if you’re going to cover a song, to make it your own. Clara does this with her take on Underworld’s Born Slippy. She turns a dance anthem into a creepy piece of art. Personally, I’ve never cared for the song at all but Clara’s take on it is simply perfect.

Her music will frighten you, and I firmly believe the best music scares the shit out of you. If it’s dark and eerie- I will adore it. Her music constructs such grand imagery in your mind. It’s just incredible, I honestly cannot praise her music highly enough. I don’t feel anything I’ve written here does her talent any justice. It makes me sad that someone with talent like this is unknown yet you get these fools selling millions and millions, and they have no talent and no clothes on.

Clara Engel is beautiful and so is her music, I cannot urge you enough to check out her music.

Her music will fuck with your head like a David Lynch film and it will charm your soul just like Patti Smith.

It’s nearly 2am. Most are either asleep or drunk. I’m going to stay awake and listen to her music.