Sheer Golden Hooks is the solo debut album from the former lead singer of Los Angeles-based band Shiva Burlesque, who released two critically-acclaimed albums in the late 1980's. Alan Jones of England's Melody Maker called Shiva Burlesque’s music "A trip into startled wonder." Jeffrey Clark has a unique poetic vision, and this collection of recordings from 1991-1995 range from his early, garagey, Scott Walker-style pop sound with plenty of cellos and violins through the somewhat psychedelic guitar-based songs of the mid-period and ending with his later work of prose and stories set to improvised music. With over 50 minutes of quality sounds, Sheer Golden Hooks is a wonderful introduction to a talented artist.
"…Once upon tonight we watched the fires below / laughing, never dreaming we’d become what we behold…”. (from the song Half Moon).
The second solo work by Jeffrey Clark, if is was originally released on CD in 2009. The album features eight striking and atmospheric songs, written and also produced by the former lead singer of ’80’s Los Angeles underground rock band Shiva Burlesque.
British music writer Andrew Perry once observed: .”…truly lyrical, painful and self-exploratory, (Clark’s) are the closest you'll get to poetic words integrated into the rock medium.”
With if is Jeffrey Clark’s penetrating lyrics and expressive voice have been set to moon-lit, chamber-pop arrangements featuring piano, double bass, trumpet, and spiraling clouds of ambient electric guitar.
The album was mixed by Noah Georgeson (producer of Devendra Banhart, Joanna Newsom, etc), and is being made available again through the acclaimed Independent Project Records label.
One internet reviewer (“Intergalactic Purveyor”) put it this way: “… These poetic and beautiful songs have many layers and meaning to them. This is subtle and powerful music that enhances greatly upon repeat listening”.
In the tradition of early solo John Cale, mid-period Scott Walker, and the more recent recordings by Nick Cave or Cat Power, the songs and soundscapes of if is simultaneously burnish and throw shadows, inviting the listener to connect, to delve deeply, and to reflect.
So, for those seeking a sonic journey during strange and challenging times if is, though recorded more than a decade ago, still delivers a relevant passage. As Jeffrey Clark sings on another of the album’s tracks:: “…when the candle’s down to the nub / in the soul nightclub / can I catch a ride home with you?”
Your ride is here.