Single Review: Clock Opera – Whippoorwill

By on Monday, 14th November 2016 at 12:00 pm

The whip-poor-will is a bird well known to those of us who live in the Eastern half of the United States, primarily for his distinctive, beautiful, haunting call. No less distinctive are the band whose single shares the name with this beloved bird. ‘Whippoorwill’ has been offered up as the first look and listen into Clock Opera’s second album, expected in early 2017. It’s been a long overdue reappearance, following the 2012 release of their debut ‘Ways to Forget’, which featured their then most recognisable songs including ‘A Piece of String’, famous for its engaging, percussive style live.

Interestingly, Clock Opera – now a four-piece with the addition of producer Nic Nell on keyboards and vocals – seem to have done a 180 on their new single. Its forlorn nature echoes its namesake’s call and according to group frontman Guy Connelly, this feeling of brooding and introspection was entirely intentional. Speaking about the album, he notes, “To be specific, the majority of the songs [on the new album] were inspired by a miscarriage. A lot of the others were driven by the fallout from it.” Connelly utilises falsetto in what begins as the regretful sighs of a man left behind following the dissolution of a relationship.

However, within the context of his explanation of the album’s primary inspiration, this initially comes across as not only heartfelt, but painfully cutting in its strong emotion. From the very beginning, Connelly tugs hard on our heartstrings: “there’s a hole in this house no fairground ride will fill / no time can kill / since you went away”. The rich tones of piano chords match well with a r&b, at times syncopated beat, which then gives way to a fuller, mainstream pop sound with some admirably timed bouncing blips from a synth.

The song appears to mirror the progression of real human emotion: as animals, we rarely stay in one state, and when we’re struggling with turmoil, in our state of confusion, we suffer highs and lows. The sound of Clock Opera mark 1 was very aggressive and in your face. It appears from ‘Whippoorwill’ that they’ve chosen to go in a more radio-friendly version, but the impact of the rest of ‘Venn’ remains to be seen.


Clock Opera’s newest single ‘Whippoorwill’ is out now via League of Imaginary Nations and !K7 . Watch the video for the single, by their guitarist and bassist Andy West, below. Their sophomore album ‘Venn’ is scheduled for release on the 10th of February 2017. For more of TGTF’s past coverage on Clock Opera, go here.


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