Suburban Light (Reissue)

The Clientele

MP3 (320kbps) ? $8.99 BUY + Wish List
FLAC ? $11.49 BUY + Wish List
CD $12.98 BUY + Wish List
LP + CD $18.98 BUY + Wish List

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MRG187R | Release Date May 13, 2014

Suburban Light was meant to be a complicated, high-production affair rendered in a major studio. From 1997 until 2000, The Clientele had released a sterling string of 7” singles on several labels—Pointy and Fierce Panda, Elefant and Johnny Kane. These songs were demos, preparations for the smash they knew they’d doubtlessly make. When it finally came time to record that debut, the four post-graduate friends entered expensive studios during off hours. Instead of finding their sound, though, they only found frustration.

“We were just waiting to get in a proper studio and have strings, brass, choirs—Phil Spector-crossed-with-Martin Hannett production,” MacLean remembers. “At the time, every engineer wanted to make every band sound like Radiohead, which just broke everyone’s heart. We couldn’t get a warm sound anywhere we went in those days.”

They went, then, with the demos, relatively primitive but especially intimate recordings they made wherever they lived and whenever they wanted. Perhaps that was all for the best: Though The Clientele would later add more flourishes and finesse to their records, Suburban Light establishes the unwavering, minimal core of the band. MacLean’s marriage of grace and tension on the guitar ripples throughout “Lacewings,” a brilliant reverie of chemicals and romance and young-adult lassitude. Drummer Howard Monk and bassist James Hornsey conduct a minor miracle of text painting during “Joseph Cornell,” capturing MacLean’s lyrics about evaporating happiness with a rhythm section that sits somewhere between rock bustle and blues languidness. Suburban Light is very much the sound of four pals, playing songs written from a place with which they all identify. They were living these scenarios.

“We drank then at this pub called The Queen’s Head. I woke up the next day, completely hung over, and I went out to play football at this field near my house. It was an autumn day,” says MacLean. “The sound of ‘As Night Is Falling’ is exactly how I remember that day, because I wrote it after running around those fields. Suburban Light very much does remind me of the suburban place we did come from. It’s quite poignant.”

Released as a double-disc and one-LP/one-CD set, this new edition of Suburban Light features the album in its original European tracklisting, restored from original analog tapes to sound warmer and a bit less like a batch of demos. The bonus material includes a revelatory set of covers, rehearsals, B-sides, and three unreleased tunes.

The CD packaged with LP contains bonus tracks only, and the download coupon contains a full download of Suburban Light.

Track/Song Title Artist Duration Price MP3 Track
Play I Had to Say This The Clientele 03:33 $0.99 Buy
Play Rain The Clientele 02:35 $0.99 Buy
Play Reflections After Jane The Clientele 03:24 $0.99 Buy
Play We Could Walk Together The Clientele 02:35 $0.99 Buy
Play Monday's Rain The Clientele 05:06 $0.99 Buy
Play Joseph Cornell The Clientele 02:23 $0.99 Buy
Play An Hour Before the Light The Clientele 02:31 $0.99 Buy
Play (I Want You) More Than Ever The Clientele 03:02 $0.99 Buy
Play Saturday The Clientele 03:54 $0.99 Buy
Play Five Day Morning The Clientele 04:07 $0.99 Buy
Play Bicycles The Clientele 02:19 $0.99 Buy
Play As Night Is Falling The Clientele 05:17 $0.99 Buy
Play Lacewings The Clientele 03:48 $0.99 Buy
Play Sarah's Prelude The Clientele 01:47 $0.99 Buy
Play 6am Morningside The Clientele 01:52 $0.99 Buy
Play Monday's Rain (Portastudio version) The Clientele 04:08 $0.99 Buy
Play From a Window The Clientele 02:42 $0.99 Buy
Play What Goes Up The Clientele 03:36 $0.99 Buy
Play Driving South The Clientele 04:49 $0.99 Buy
Play Porcelain (Portastudio version) The Clientele 03:30 $0.99 Buy
Play May Has Brought a Change in You The Clientele 02:27 $0.99 Buy
Play Tracy Had a Hard Day Sunday The Clientele 04:48 $0.99 Buy
Play Six Foot Drop The Clientele 04:14 $0.99 Buy

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MP3s eliminate audio data in order to reduce file size. FLAC files are by definition 'lossless' and are a perfect digital copy of the original source material. Because of this, a FLAC audio file is much larger in size than an MP3 file. While FLAC audio is ideal if you listen to your music on a higher-end home stereo, or enjoy close-listening on headphones, it does not have as widespread playback support as the MP3 format.

*Note: FLAC files do not work in iTunes.

What is the difference between MP3 and FLAC files?

Merge offers the highest quality MP3s possible. They are encoded without DRM using the LAME version 3.97 encoder at non-variable rate of 320 kbps. At this quality level, the sound is essentially indistinguishable from a CD.

We also offer FLAC digital music files. FLAC stands for Free Lossless Audio Codec, an uncompressed audio format. As such, FLAC files provide a perfect digital copy of a given piece of music.

MP3s eliminate audio data in order to reduce file size. FLAC files are by definition 'lossless' and are a perfect digital copy of the original source material. Because of this, a FLAC audio file is much larger in size than an MP3 file. While FLAC audio is ideal if you listen to your music on a higher-end home stereo, or enjoy close-listening on headphones, it does not have as widespread playback support as the MP3 format.

*Note: FLAC files do not work in iTunes.