Recorded in the last two lockdowns, Chris Clarke releases his debut stunning guitar-based rock debut EP Conifers. Like the conifer tree that has adapted to be stronger to withstand the harsh winter, the lyrics take you through overcoming the difficulties in life. Even more relatable in lockdown, this EP will help you through these strange times.
This EP opens with the track Conifers, a smooth and upbeat song about “thinking of a safe, happy time when life gets tough.” The lyrics delve into themes of hardship and growth, “sometimes you’ve got to feel the pain to know that you’re alive.” Clarke’s guitar skills undeniable shine within this track with stingily sweet solo, which might even be more tender than the lyrics. Played on BBC radio Hereford and Worcester, this EP has a strong start.
Bringing a bit of edge and grittiness, Saviour goes into a place of deeper angst. With the powerful forcefulness of the vocals in the pre-chorus have that rustiness that imbues this EP with rock and roll that you cannot help but to groove to. The guitar on this track is on a whole different level. Taking you to all the way around the fretboard, the one minute of pure guitar solo makes you never want it to end.
From the title Little Echoes, I thought that this song would be a relaxing, smooth finish to the EP, however, I could not be more wrong. Energetic and jazzy, the guitar intro establishes it as a groovy and intense banger. Going into the pressures of life and societies expectations, lyrics submerged with brutal honesty, but reality of life’s struggles. The final words “pain starts knocking you down” make it a dramatic and intense ending.
This EP leaves you feeling thoughtful, yet optimistic about life. The overlying theme in this EP is introspective, taking you through pain and acceptance of life described perfectly in the title. Everything about this EP from the exquisite guitar to the powerful lyrics and passionate vocals, makes it a great EP to listen to, whether you are in the mood to contemplate life or just enjoy music.
By Imogen Evans