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Album Review

Imagine Calexico getting together with Rachel's for a session of moody instrumentals and you have something close to Brooklyn's Clogs. Heavy on strings, but also incorporating everything from the melodica to bassoon, Clogs evoke wine-dark seas, lighthouses, and fog on the 12 tracks that make up Lantern, their fourth full-length. It's hard not to think of Hawthorne, Poe, or a Russell Banks novel when listening to these misty, hypnotic numbers. There is one song with vocals, the title cut, and it's a somber one that creeps along with lightly plunked percussion. The rest of the collection, however, would sit well next to music of the more baroque Feathers, who sound somewhat like a more polished city cousin to Clogs. Compared to the previous Clogs album, Lantern is more fleshed out and even less "rock" sounding, further blurring the line between post-rock and classical. However, there are moments, such as on "The Song of the Cricket," where they flirt with bluegrass and old-time music. Clogs, who share members with the more singer/songwriterly rock band the National, have obviously learned to apply a degree of pop songcraft to their pseudo-neo-classical music. It may never fly in the conservatory, but the music of Clogs is sure to make the bar set feel a little more cultured.

Customer Reviews

Idéal pour les soirs de spleen

Il s'agit sans doute ici du meilleur album des Clogs. Leur curieux mélange de musique classique, jazz, folk et je ne sais trop quoi prend un petit tournant indy-rock qui n'est pas sans déplaire, en particulier sur l'excellente 5/4. Un album intime, introspectif et mélancolique, idéal pour les soirs de spleen. Il n'y a pas vraiment de temps mort sur Lantern mais on sent que le groupe est capable d'encore mieux.


Formed: New Haven, CT

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Consisting of four classically trained musicians (Bryce Dessner, Padma Newsome, Rachael Elliott, and Thomas Kozumplik), the Clogs are an avant-garde chamber ensemble whose works encompass a wide range of styles, including (but not limited to) jazz, post-rock, and chamber music. They met in the late '90s at the Yale School of Music, where Newsome, originally hailing from the University of Adelaide in Australia, was studying on a Fulbright scholarship. Drawing from influences as disparate as romanticism,...
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Lantern, Clogs
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