Photo: Fabien Montique
We're all on a journey towards self-discovery and growth, but rarely does a piece of music come along to emulate that quest. Moving away from the minimalist acoustic stylings of her first EP, XIII, the Australian singer/songwriter CLOVES, born Kaity Dunstan, has released her debut album One Big Nothing.
This record is more than just another indie rock album. Containing sinfully beautiful vocals and edgy instrumentation, the 10-song collection is sure to wash waves of emotion through your body. The first tune, "Bringing the House Down," introduces you to CLOVES' striking vocals that carry the perfect mix of attitude and passion. "Wasted Time" contains serious Lana Del Rey vibes by using of heavy reverb and vocal delays that fill in all kinds of space between the instruments. The contrasting dynamics accentuate the climactic point around the 2:50 mark, a musical component not my artists are utilizing anymore. In regards to "Wasted Time," CLOVES said,
"It sums up my brain on most days - a lot of the time I feel anti-social. The chorus lyrics are 'I'm wasted time why do you waste your time.' I feel like that a lot."
"Better Now" showcases CLOVES' low range, evoking a sense of strength and control, while the heavy drums and guitar strums act as episodes of anger and frustration. Flowing right into the next track, "California Numb" talks of how an environment can change you into someone you didn't think you'd become, but "Hit Me Hard" combats the lack of feeling anything with the need to feel everything.
The beautiful ballad, "Frail Love," is a raw portrait of CLOVES' crystal vocals, capturing emotions of exposure and false hope that show maturity beyond her years. The next track, "Kiss Me In The Dark," is a moody, yet cheeky tune that allows for a cutting rock edge, but "Up & Down" sends the message of unpredictable living; you can have your good days, but you don't know whether you can come back from those bad ones.
The album makes its way to a heartfelt close as "Don't You Wait" encourages a lover to move along with his/her life and the title track, "One Big Nothing," comes in to finish this body of work with gut-wrenching vocal runs diverged by varying instrument timbres. When it comes to this track in particular, CLOVES cited,
"'One Big Nothing' was the point where I stopped trying as much and became more experimental - it's much more arrangement based, and I really started looking at what could I do differently, structurally and rhythmically. I gained confidence, one step at a time."
One Big Nothing is a collection of edgy tracks that captures the essence of grit and punch in indie rock, while also exploring human frailty. It effectively experiments with all kinds of musical elements, ultimately producing an impactful and emotional debut album worth adding to your musical library.
Be sure to listen below, plus keep an eye out for our upcoming All Eyes On performance and interview video with CLOVES.