In 2012, when Alex Clare’s hit, “Too Close,” topped the charts and became a top 10 hit on the US Billboard Hot 100, and #4 on the UK Singles Chart, I knew we had found a winner.
Already a soulful romantic, Alex Clare’s sultry voice sent me head over heels in love. I realize I say this about many, but we should acknowledge that Alex Clare isn’t someone to joke about, especially with his level of success.
Born Alexander George Claire, the London born musician is a man after my own heart, growing up listening to blues and soul artists like Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway. After developing an interest in the trumpets and drums (which hold an influence in his music), lovely Mr. Clare moved on and dedicated more time to the guitar playing and song writing.
Hey it worked.
So when I got the email way back in August that Alex Clare was heading back to Seattle to perform live for the first time in a year, I almost cried.
Clare’s debut album The Lateness of the Hour is a record that never gets old for me, simply because like any good soul artist, Clare just mixes all these different influences together of funk, soul, dubstep, punk rock, and jazz and just creates this cohesive mixture of pieces that together just fly.
I’m stoked to hear him drop his jams for us at The Neptune, November 25th. Although I’m excited of course to hear the famous single, “Too Close” up close and personal, I’m more excited for Clare to bust out the more soulful tracks from his first album.
“Sanctuary,” one of my personal favorites off his first album just keeps it real with his opening of the song with this chorus of echo-laden whispers surrounded by simple piano harmonies. The song has the feel of a ballad, but then the synth, drums, and bass kick in and you’re left a little breathless after the song finishes, hair swept, going “Whoa. What just happened?” The electro-dubstep influence is there, and although some may think it overpowers, Clare never lets his voice be watered down.
Another one that will be great raw will be Clare’s “I Won’t Let you Down,” also off his first album. The closing number off the record, it’s soft, sweet, and a gem led by Clare’s mournful voice and fingers playing the keys. In a sea of tracks laden with a multitude of other instrumentals, this track keeps it simple, and having Alex Clare sing that live for me will be enough for me to live on.
But let’s be real, this tour is also about Clare’s new album that he’s been working on for a year, Three Hearts. A pretty solid piece of art, I’m excited to see how he performs the more upbeat, 80’s retro vibe that this album brings. A record that brings in more of the influence of horns and lively instrumentals, we’re exposed to different side of Clare that is less mournful and definitely more positive.
Yet, we still have those soulful tracks on Three Hearts like “Take you Back” and “Just a Man” that hint at Clare’s older side as a quick break from pop upbeats of horn-laden tracks like “Heavy Hands” and “Never Let You Go.”. “Not in Vain,” one of my favorite tracks off the new record is a good mix of Clare’s new and old sound, a track that has his soulful, yet wobbly voice, and the lead in of piano and soft drums.
Just writing about this album gets me stoked for this show, and although I’m a little more excited for Alex Clare to showcase his older music rather than his newer stuff, just the thought of him performing live is too much for me. Get excited. Get your tickets.
Does it help that between sets, his beautiful English accent will swoon your socks off?
See ya there.