Chris Cleverly (“born under a solstice moon, in an aura of honeysuckle mysticism”) has recently dropped a new album, Broadcast The Secret Verse, which is available now from all the good music places. In the press release Cleverley’s music is described as “Dream Folk”. I’ve never heard of this sub-genre before but I’m willing to accept that it exists, if not before this album then definitely upon hearing it. The whole thing is very gentle, chilled and ambient – Sunday morning vibes for certain.
If you’re a fan of Tom McCrae or Turin Breaks then this is definitely for you. It sits comfortably alongside those artists, not as dark as McCrae and not as fluffy as Turin Breaks, so Cleverley will definitely find his own niche in your music collection. My favourite tracks, or those that stand out to me are Borderlands and Nausea. Borderlands is nicely understated and has that gentle folk vibe, lovely harmonies and subtle movement that makes you feel as if things are not too difficult today – no need to rush about. Nausea, by contrast, is the other end of Cleverly’s spectrum. It is driving, layered and full of neo-noir 80s synth sounds that bring a direct tension and a certain level of foreboding to the soundscape.
Lyrically, Cleverly takes on some fairly heavy subjects, not your usual love ballads and pop hits, but serious issues like climate change and mass displacement of people. The subject matter might be heavy but the vehicle itself is so fine and compassionate you won’t be brought down, the outlook is honest but positive. Cleverly delivers an extremely well crafted production, the quality of mixing and performance is very high with many competent collaborators lending their talents to some of the tracks. He has clearly spent a lot of time working on this and you can tell that it is very high quality as a result. You will not be disappointed.
By: Stuart McGoo