The Clientele

The Clientele announce new album 'I Am Not There Anymore' and take up arms in "Blue Over Blue" video

Apr 24, 2023

Photo of the members of the Clientele wearing armour

The Clientele announce their new album, I Am Not There Anymore, out July 28 on Merge, and premiere the first single/video, “Blue Over Blue.” Listen to and share “Blue Over Blue,” and pre-order I Am Not There Anymore on CD, LP, and black in opaque red Peak Vinyl in the Merge store.

I Am Not There Anymore follows 2017’s Music for the Age of Miracles (which arrived after a seven-year hiatus for the band), with new recording sessions beginning in 2019 and continuing piecemeal until 2022—in part due to the pandemic and also because the band wanted the space to experiment. “We’d always been interested in music other than guitar music, like for donkey’s years,” vocalist/lyricist/guitarist Alasdair MacLean says. This time out, he—alongside bassist James Hornsey and drummer Mark Keen—incorporated elements of post-bop jazz, contemporary classical and electronic music. According to MacLean, “None of those things had been able to find their way into our sound other than in the most passing way, in the faintest imprint.”

This stretching out—what MacLean calls “a leap forwards and to the side”—can be heard clearly in “Blue Over Blue,” with its percussive samples and its moments where the arrangement opens up suddenly into something cinematic in scope, with horns and strings. “What happened with this record was that we bought a computer,” MacLean explains. Under the old Clientele way of recording, a tricky song like “Blue Over Blue” might’ve eaten up all their studio time, as they worked out the time signature and the instrumentation. For I Am Not There Anymore, though, the trio would lay down a few tracks and then take them home to play around, trying out different arrangements before returning to the studio to finish recording all the little instrumental enhancements.

“Blue Over Blue” depicts MacLean’s scary adventure of being lost in the woods with his son, he explains: “‘Blue Over Blue’ is about getting lost in the woods on Hampstead Heath on an autumn day with my two-year-old son on my shoulders—he loved it and wanted to play hide and seek. I knew he was a ticking time bomb as I had no food with me and was trying to find my way back to a path.” The accompanying video sees the band adorned in armor beneath beautiful and abstract artwork.

In addition to I Am Not There Anymore, The Clientele announce their first tour of the United States since 2017. The tour, which covers the month of August, follows a July 28 performance at London's Rough Trade East.