The Clientele formed a long time ago in the backwoods of suburban Hampshire, playing together as kids at school, rehearsing in a thatched cottage remote from any kind of music scene, but hypnotized by the magical strangeness of Galaxie 500 and Felt and the psych pop of Love and the Zombies.
Singer Alasdair MacLean still recalls a pub conversation where the band collectively voted that it was OK to be influenced by Surrealist poetry but not OK to have any shouting or blues guitar solos. From that moment on, they put their stamp on a kind of eerie, distanced pure pop, stripped to its essentials and recorded quickly to 4-track analogue tape.
Instantly identifiable, The Clientele sound like no one else, although they are cited as an influence by bands as diverse as Spoon and the Fleet Foxes. It’s been said that the greatest bands always create their own individual sound; The Clientele have gone one further and created their own world.
While touring last month around Merge 25 and their recently reissued debut Suburban Light, The Clientele stopped by WAMU Bandwidth and recorded live versions of "Porcelain" and "Reflections After Jane". Check them out here or head over to the Bandwidth website.
In stores and available online today is the May installment of our ongoing 25th Anniversary reissue series,The Clientele's Suburban Light. 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.
Watch the newly digitized video of "Reflections After Jane," and catch the Clientele on tour this summer including a highly-anticipated appearance at the Merge 25 Festival! These shows mark the first Clientele tour since 2009's tour in support of Bonfires on the Heath.
If you’re like us, you’re excited to own a copy of The Clientele's Suburban Light on vinyl, complete with its original UK album art and tracklisting. While we wait for the records to come back from the plant, we decided to touch up the “Reflections After Jane” video with assistance from the band. The non-pixelated version can be viewed below and on the Merge YouTube channel.