This year marks a departure for Clean Cut Kid. Whereas their first album Felt explored an indie-pop sound, their upcoming EP Painkiller sees the band segue into a more lo-fi, Americana sound influenced by the likes of Fleetwood Mac and the Phoebe Bridgers. It’s a sound though, that the band feels expresses them best right now, coupled with an honest and personal approach to song writing. First up was new single “Emily”, with “Painkiller” following at the end of October. But before that we catch up with the band to find out what has prompted this new direction.
I guess you could say the sound of the band has ‘grown up’. The actual sonic footprint has probably been our biggest area of evolution. It’s a lot less clean and a lot less ‘produced’. In fact, we’d say that we’re almost a different genre now. What would previously have been described as indie fuzz pop, is now lo-fi-West-Coast-alt-Rock. We’re obsessed with Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles and the Rolling Stones. It was inevitable that we’d gravitate towards the old-school sound.
This record is (at times painfully) honest. Every song is written about a deeply emotional subject in the lives of our friends and family. At times it’d take all night to track a vocal because we’d be in tears just trying to lay it down. The tour will follow suit. I want to look the crowd in the eyes and for the whole gig to be like a conversation. There should be no production elements that remove us from the audience. We’re all just people sharing an experience.
Rumours by Fleetwood Mac - because it’s the best pop writing, golden age tape recording and incredible live performance ever.
Then, Suburbs by Arcade Fire, because nobody can write such amazingly epic tunes about such tiny personal subjects. It’s mind-blowing.
And finally, Heigh Ho by Blake Mills, because he’s my favourite writer, producer and guitarist alive right now.
Whole Of The Moon by The Waterboys. First of all, even if the lyrics were terrible, the melodies and production alone would make it a smash hit; but when you break down the lyrics, it’s just ridiculous. I think it’s written about some writer and it’s the lead singer saying ‘no matter how hard I tried, you just out-wrote me every time’. Which is how I feel when I hear the song!