Strange Geometry, 180G Black Vinyl LP
Originally released in 2005, The Clientele recorded their second full-length album Strange Geometry with producer Brian O’Shaughnessy at Bark Studios, Walthamstow (UK). The album features twelve dreamy folk-pop songs with shimmering psych guitars and string arrangements by Louis Philippe. On May 6, 2016 Strange Geometry was re-pressed on vinyl and includes a download of the entire record plus six previously unreleased bonus tracks.
Strange Geometry was the first Clientele album to be recorded in a fully equipped, professional studio with an established engineer/producer, and the results are stunning. Strange Geometry is a robust yet subtle recording. Songs are allowed room to breathe, yet never stray into indulgence. When not concerned with the chore of production—the twisting of knobs and the repair of faulty equipment—the band was free to focus completely on the music, achieving and expanding upon the sonic blueprint they had envisioned from the start. Mr. O’Shaughnessy’s experience and expertise helped the band deliver their most accomplished record to date, full of rich textures and enchanting melodies. The contributions of the enigmatic and incredibly talented Mr. Philippe also cannot be overstated. His string arrangements are delicate yet powerful additions.
The Clientele singer-songwriter Alasdair MacLean wrote of the bonus material:
All six of these tracks are outtakes from the July 2005 Strange Geometry sessions at Bark Studios in London. “Breathe In Now” is one of my favourite Clientele songs. I wanted it to have a baroque string arrangement but there was no time to put one together, so it was dropped. “Spanish Night” was written in Valencia. It was too hot to sleep at night, so I ended up staying up at night and sleeping all day, when, as it turned out, it was too hot to sleep. “Since We Last Spoke” was abandoned halfway through for reasons now unclear, though I still like the lyrical image of Nero appearing in a crowd. Apparently, Emperor Nero mixed among crowds in disguise, listening to other people’s conversations. “One Hundred Leaves” was a fan favourite and used to be a staple of our live shows, but we couldn’t quite get the live feel down on tape at Bark. “When I Came Through” is a fragment, forgotten until now, a dream of walking home from the railway station to the garden.
“The reverb is toned down considerably, strings have been added (courtesy of Louis Philippe), and Strange Geometry as a whole is more direct and focused. This clarity foregrounds MacLean’s songwriting talent, a poetic ear tuned into a more surreal world, with darker images bumping against the bucolic scenes of records past.” —Pitchfork, Best New Music, 2005
The album includes six digital bonus tracks collectively titled A Sense of Falling: Strange Geometry Outtakes:
Breathe In Now
Losing Haringey (Instrumental)
One Hundred Leaves
Since We Last Spoke
When I Came Through