by tom johnson
The previous full-length effort from Clarke Sondermann, better known to you and as The Washboard Abs, was a restrained and perfectly languid affair that offered the perfect soundtrack to a summer’s shade. Led by his suitably soft vocal and a weave of soft guitars, Sondermann’s music is an entirely captivating affair and yet it seems almost ready-made for the background; not to be ignored but to sit as something of a distant soundtrack, like an old radio waves drifting out of the windows while you idly recline on some rickety old porch.
You might initially think that the ground has shifted somewhat for his new album, given that glaring title, complete with slack spelling slangs and everything. Thankfully ‘Have You Scanned Ur Club Card?‘ does follow a similar pattern to its predecessor, dealing mostly in hushed, acoustic musings of the world and his place within it.
Opening track ‘Dusk’ immediately settles the listener, a tender-hearted roll of piano and guitar and some lovely layered vocals that seems to slow time itself just enough for the slow pace of the record to feel immediately important. Elsewhere ‘Window’ is a touching glimpse in to a dull day, led by a plaintive turn-of-phrase that feels all the better for it: “Early in the morning but later in the day, your Brother will be snoring, the sky will slowly grey…“
While such sparse arrangements can sometimes lead to boredom, or at least distracted attention, there’s more than enough going on within these skeletal frames to keep the compelling nature of Sondermann’s creations intact. The pace might not offer much change, but the tone certainly does. Like seeing one beautiful view change in the shifting of the light, Club Card takes on varying forms with just the faintest of adjustments. The result is a slender but often bewitching record – and we’re very pleased to bring you a full stream of it ahead of it’s release this Friday. Check it out below.
Have You Scanned Ur Club Card is released on March 18th, via Antiquated Future