Anyone who read my review of ‘I Didn’t Know You Were Leaving Today’ will understand how lost I was in Clara Mann’s voice: “lightly tremulous but strong like resonating flint”. There’s a timeless, spectral quality to Clara’s voice.  On one hand her songs sound like they could have been taken from a recently found reel to reel of an undiscovered 1960s folk artist but on the other there is a modern take on the subject matter that is far from being a sepia tinted throwback to fair maidens and cruel Lords, and Clara says in the press release:

I wrote this over a summer where I was totally adrift- it was quite a lonely time, and I felt that, in a bid for some kind of connection, I was making myself vulnerable to the wrong people. Thoughtless is a recognition of that unhealthy tendency in myself, as well as being about the way people can take too much of someone, without even realising”.

The influence of water on ‘Thoughtless’ is also mentioned, and how this informed the swell of the guitar throughout. Also, the influence of painter Joaquín Sorolla who I did not know before reading this, but looking at some paintings online I can see how his treatment of colour, light and shade could cause hours to flow passed in the same way that Clara Mann’s singing seems to slow time to a beatific crawl.

Clara Mann’s music has captivated me utterly and I hope the ‘folk’ label does not become an anchor that holds her to one shoreline and stops anyone who shies away from the term from listening. I look forward to reviewing the forthcoming EP release Consolations as its precious cargo of 4 tracks carries an emotional heft that I am convinced heralds a full and rewarding musical life for Clara in the future.

Consolations is out on the 24 February and you can pre-order it as a download or limited-edition cassette on Clara Mann’s Bandcamp page.

Thoughtless – Lyrics

Soft, I will say it softly

Another time when you’re watching me

And wait ‘til im on the straight and narrow right way home

Take your line from a child

Make him say it again

And I may live a long life

But time it goes quicker when we both keep quiet

And no, no more ways to say goodbye

Take the words off my chest, they are all I have left

And I may be Thoughtless,

When you put your arms around me are they wider than they feel

And I am a voice without a reason

I like to feel I’m needed but I think I want to leave

Shaped, shaped just like a shell boy

I open up and you help yourself

Away from anybody else

Once last breath to the sail

I’ll step under the swell for you

My love learned my mother tongue

And I didn’t even mind when he got the word for sorry wrong

And listening I caught the ends of songs I left unsung

I wrote another line for you but all my words were gone

And I may be thoughtless

When you name the things you love I am the spaces in between

And I am a voice without a reason

You’d like to hear an answer but I think I want to leave

And if I have a long life

I’ll turn myself around And I’ll make it all alright

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