A band with plenty of singles and EPs to its name, the Clientele are set to release their follow-up to 2003's The Violet Hour. Mixed, mastered, and recorded at Bark Studios in East London with the help of producer Brian O'Shaughnessy, the new album has been titled Strange Geometry. Working with O'Shaughnessy was a blessing for the band, as MacLean says, "We would just be sitting in our little studio and our mixing desk would blow up, and so we'd have to start all over again. That type of stuff didn't happen with Brian."
But plenty did happen with O'Shaughnessy, as he was able to improve the band's sound drastically. "It's as if you took the other albums, and they were in a fish tank, and you took them out, and suddenly some air had been let into the room and the sound was clearer," says MacLean.
One of the strong influences on the band while they were recording Strange Geometry was the baroque pop of the self-titled (and only) album by Cardinal, released in 1994. Other influences include the bands usual mid-60s pop favorites, from Left Banke to the Beatles, as well as a hint of country music. Maclean says, "We wanted to make a record that was easy on the listener's ear, that didn't require the listener to make any effort. Sunshine pop like Love and Brian Wilson, things we've always been listening to."
And then they brought on French pop balladeer Louis Philippe, whom MacLean described as "old-fashioned and exacting," to work on string arrangements for the album. "He wants everything precisely in tune and precisely in time. We just said, 'Louis, make the string arrangements sound like "Eleanor Rigby".' And he went away, and then he came back with these little strange string arrangements that sounded like something from an Errol Flynn movie. So he didn't do what we wanted at all, he did exactly what he wanted. But it was better as a result. Working with him was very exciting and I think it worked really well."
1.I Had To Say This
3.Reflections After Jane
4.We Could Walk Together
7.An Hour Before the Light
8.(I Want You) More Than Ever
10.Five Day Morning
12.As Night is Falling