Next week (Friday 27th May), Philadelphia group Clique release their new album ‘Burden Piece’ through Upset faves, Topshelf Records. Formed from the ashes of a few other bands – vocalist PJ Carroll was in Girl Scouts and The Hundred Acre Woods, while bassist Travis Arterburn played drums in Ted Nguyent – this marks their second full-length together, following their 2014 self-titled debut.
Listen to new track ‘Mutual’ below, first on Upset, with a quick Q&A after the jump.
“‘Mutual’ was written two years ago before we were a band and Brandon [Shipp, guitar] and I were just writing songs together on acoustic guitar,” explains PJ, “and was eventually fully actualised as a band after the first record.
“At the time I had a prep job at a restaurant down the street from my house that I had to open at 4:45am, by myself, six days a week. I had just entered a relationship with someone and things were moving quickly. She was mature, sober and had her life together. I was younger, living paycheque to paycheque and not so sober. An unlikely pair to say the least, but she meant the world to me.
“After three weeks of seeing one another she gave me the key to her house. Two weeks after that she asked for it back and said she didn’t think we should see each other anymore. We remained friends, but I was confused and reeling trying to figure out what I had done.
“And one day I realised it didn’t matter. I didn’t need to rely on the presence of someone else to validate my own happiness. ‘Mutual’ was kind of my outlet for coping with how I felt in that moment in time.”
Your new album ‘Burden Piece’ is out soon – when did you start working on it?
Some of the songs on this record were written before our self-titled was released back in September 2014; other songs came thereafter. We were writing songs right up until we entered the studio last November.
Did you know how you wanted it to sound, and what you wanted it to say from the off?
I don’t think we knew specifically what we wanted to do with this album. Probably because we never formally started the writing process. All four of us would bring in skeletons of songs and we’d build them up together. I don’t know if we ever consciously realised the sound we were going for but when we entered the studio and started to hear the recordings take shape they all made sense.
Was there anything you wanted to try out or explore on this record that you hadn’t previously attempted?
Unlike our self-titled, on this record we all equally collaborated in the writing process both instrumentally and lyrically. Exploring each others ideas and expanding upon them in that manner definitely brought us closer as friends and as a band.
What do you think are the perfect circumstances, or the perfect environment, in which to listen to the record?
After a soul crushing week, on the edge your bed, surrounded by empty beer cans.
How do you feel about your debut, now you’ve a little distance from it?
Happy with the reception it has received and the opportunities it has brought us.
What was the best thing you managed to achieve with that record?
We were honoured to play Hop Along’s album release show as well as our friends in Glocca Morra and Hightide Hotel’s respective last shows. Met a lot of nice people and saw a lotta cool places.
Where do you hope ‘Burden Piece’ will take you?
Straight into the ground.
There seems to be loads of great bands coming out of Philadelphia right now – is there anyone we should check out who we might not already be familiar with?
Our good friend Shannen Moser, who also does some vocals on Burden Piece is an incredible songwriter. Soul Glo, Loose Tooth, Mumblr, Spirit of the Beehive, Sun Organ, Gunk, and anything else on Ranch Records.
What do you think it is about Philly that’s created such a hot spot at the moment?
As more bands pop up, more people are inspired to make cool shit. There’s a sense of community within the music scene. Tons of house shows that don’t really get busted and a ton of clubs that host shows all the time. It’s cheap enough to live in (for the time being).