The Clear is an exceptionally talented band from Sheffield, UK (from which a lot of great music artists and bands originate, a number of whom I’ve recently featured on this blog). Consisting of Chris Damms, Jules Buffey and Bryan Day, The Clear plays a sophisticated and pleasing style of what can best be called “West Coast Dream Pop” – which they describe as being ‘in the tradition of Jimmy Webb, Neil Diamond and Burt Bacharach.’ Among the many positive attributes of their music, the thing that really stands out for me are their sublime harmonizing vocals.
The band released their outstanding debut album Patchwork in 2016, and this past April, I reviewed a single from that album, the spellbinding “The Planets,” which you can read here. Now, in conjunction with the release of Patchwork on vinyl, planned for August, the band has released another brilliant single from the album called “Sunlight.” Regarding the single, the band states “‘Sunlight’ is a song for summer, but lyrically it is also about those ‘bright’ and ‘light’ days we have when we find ‘hope and meaning’ in our lives. ‘Sunlight’ is about that feeling we have when we feel ‘at home’ in ourselves, and when we feel that there is ‘light’ again in our lives.”
The song has a mellow folk-rock vibe, evoking a sun-kissed summer day when the cares of daily life are momentarily forgotten. “I’ve seen sunlight through the dark clouds, and it won’t turn to rain now you’re here. I hear the call of distant thunder, suddenly I’m under your spell.” Gentle strummed guitar and beautiful piano are accompanied by just the right amount of percussion to keep the toe-tapping beat without overpowering the other instruments or smooth vocals that are in such perfect harmony they take my breath away. Their vocals on this track call to mind the The Mamas and Papas or Peter, Paul and Mary, surely two of the greatest harmonizing bands of all time. “Sunlight” is a gorgeous song, magnificent in its simplicity.
To learn more about The Clear, check out their website.