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Video of the Moment #2269: Gorillaz (feat. Benjamin Clementine)

 
By on Tuesday, 24th January 2017 at 6:00 pm
 

There’s been burblings for a while that Damon Albarn was planning to bring Gorillaz back. Well, the wait is now over. Last week, a new track featuring 2015 Mercury Prize winner Benjamin Clementine (nice quiff, son) surfaced. ‘Hallelujah Money’ is not a celebration of cash and the mobility it provides, but rather a vehicle for Clementine to point out that old chestnut that framed in a needlepoint sign in the Monkees’ flat that indeed, money is the root of all evil. The promo, directed by Gorillaz and Giorgio Testi, dropped on the eve of the inauguration of Donald Trump last week, which can’t have been merely a coincidence. Watch the promo below. Naturally, we expect that Albarn’s efforts aren’t for naught and that an album is on the horizon sometime this year. Watch this space. For past and admittedly old coverage of Gorillaz on TGTF, go here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDUrpPvU1_4[/youtube]

 

Single Review: Benjamin Clementine – I Won’t Complain

 
By on Thursday, 19th May 2016 at 12:00 pm
 

Header photo by Mickey Clement

London singer/songwriter Benjamin Clementine won the 2015 Mercury Prize for Album of the Year on the strength of his genre-challenging debut LP ‘At Least for Now’. Clementine’s songwriting on the album combines a very classical aesthetic with pop vocals and art rock structures in a composite style that truly thinks outside the box of any commonly defined musical classification. Earlier this spring, Clementine released a new deluxe version of ‘At Least for Now’ with three added tracks and an extended version of one more from the original release.

Taken from the new deluxe version of the album, Clementine’s upcoming single ‘I Won’t Complain’ has already received attention on American shores from The Fader and The Late Late Show with James Corden. But Clementine himself didn’t have a lot of exposure to pop culture in either music or television as he was growing up. Raised in a strict religious household in North London before fleeing to Paris at age 20, Clementine’s earliest artistic influences included French pianist and composer Erik Satie and American avant-garde musicians Antony and the Johnsons.

Clementine’s mix of background influences are intriguing to say the least, and I found myself curious as to what the synthesis of those ingredients might sound like. In the case of ‘I Won’t Complain’, it reads at first like a classical art song, arranged simply for piano and voice. The piano accompaniment is shimmeringly impressionistic and without a quickly discernable structure. But Clementine’s vocals are unmistakably vernacular, stating his poignant lyrics in a stark hybrid of speech and singing that broadens to a climax of raw emotional expression over the refrain “but I won’t complain / no, I won’t complain / though my good days are far gone / they’ll surely come back one morn / so I won’t complain”.

‘I Won’t Complain’ is a unique and powerful blend of fragility and strength from a songwriter who has experienced his fair share of both in the course of his 27 years. His increasingly rare combination of musical elegance and lyrical eloquence finds exquisite visual expression in the abstract black and white promo video below.

9/10

The deluxe version of Benjamin Clementine’s ‘At Least For Now’ is currently available, and new single ‘I Won’t Complain’ will impact on the 27th of May on Virgin EMI in the UK and Capitol Records in America.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/JQ4mFaI17pk[/youtube]

 
 
 

About Us

There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

All MP3s are posted with the permission of the artists or their representatives and are for sampling only. Like the music? Buy it.

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