The highly talented Charlie Clark played in indie band Astrid before decamping to lead another life in LA as a music producer and artistic entrepreneur. He eventually returned to Scotland and this time last year released his brilliant solo album ‘Late Night Drinking’ (see my review here) and revived Astrid. Clark has earned a cult status amongst public and peers alike, becoming a go-to guest musician to the likes of Mogwai, Arab Strap and Snow Patrol in the process.
A lot has changed in the past 12 months, and Clark is now back with a new band, Yama Rama, a new label (Bubblebrain Records) and a brilliant double single release ‘Influencers Must Die’ and ‘Drunk As Fuck’.
Yama Rama is made up of Charlie Clark on lead vocals and guitar, Christopher James Johnston on Vocals and Guitar, Mark Makay on Bass and Billy Hudson on Drums
Certainly some things don’t change – Clarke’s irreverent and cheeky sense of humour and the sounds of cascading eloquent guitars underpinning catchy melodies remain the same. In ‘Influencers Must Die’ there is perhaps a harder edge to the sound – a punchy subcurrent to the jingle jangle guitars, an electronic snap to the drums creating a motorik drill. Clark’s vocal are sardonic and wry with added harmonies. It’s a track that swaggers and stomps with a glittery glam rock bounce.
Clark says of the track:
‘Influencers Must Die’ is a response to the obsessive nature of social media and its effects on everyone, including myself. It’s tongue is firmly in its cheek but it’s hard to know if I’d feel the same way about The Velvet Underground or The Doors if they were sharing every mundane aspect of their life on TikTok…….
I love the mystique about a lot of the music I listen to. It’s simply about the music and not personality overload.
‘Drunk As Fuck’ turns the table completely – a quiet, reflective yearning folkloric ballad which showcases Clark’s vocal range, seemingly channeling a traditional Gaelic style. The seeping melancholy that is expressed through the lyrics and delivered over simple acoustic guitars is enhanced by the strings – a song of deep apology or regret laced with a sort of dark humour.
It’s great to see Clark back in the saddle.
The two track will be available to download and stream through the link above and through all the usual sites.