Josienne Clarke: In All Weather review – intriguing, uncomfortable post-break-up album

Fri, Nov 8, 2019, 05:00

   
 

Album:
In All Weather

Artist:
Josienne Clarke

Label:
Rough Trade

Genre:
Singer / Songwriter

There are post-break-up albums, and then there are albums that are so raw, they feel like diary entries. Having spent a decade as part of a celebrated chamber folk duo with Ben Walker, Josienne Clarke “broke up with everything except songwriting” and moved to the remote Isle of Bute in Scotland to embrace the concept of “onliness”.

These songs, set against burbling folk-pop and flutters of acoustic guitar and harp, are lyrically cutting. Leaving London laments: “I’ve given him my best years and he’ll never give them back.” The juddering Host claims: “Sorry is the key to a door that you will come through and hurt me some more.”  And If I Didn’t Mind is a savage takedown of a gaslighting lover: “You’ve got your problems, but I’m the one who needs to change?”

Josienne Clarke - If I Didn't Mind

The measured, easygoing pace of these songs is often at odds with Clarke’s lyrics – particularly on Slender, Sad & Sentimental, which is practically rambunctious indiepop akin to The Sundays , and My Love Gave Me an Apple, which is as sweetly sung as they come.

It’s an intriguing listen, but an often uncomfortable one, too.