by Philip Moss
The breakup album is almost a genre in itself. And having been a vehicle for songwriters throughout time to collate their thoughts, they can become bogged down by a hybrid of angst and melancholia, as the writer, usually the victim, chastises their former love. But despite the subject matter, Josienne Clarke’s In All Weather’s tone stays, for the most part, remarkably ludic.
For a record of such depth, it is surprisingly immediate. Musically, Seconds is playful, and reminiscent of the title track from Gruff Rhys’ Candy Lion – its chirpy vocal line, too, is ironically merry as Clarke comes to terms with the demise of her relationship. While the lo-fi guitars of If I Didn’t Mind and Slender, Sad & Sentimental buzz along and cross over from folk into indie pop territory.
Of course, there are some heavy moments. In particular, the opening title track – ‘Anytime we try to find the answers, they’ve eluded us’ – but they are not overbearing. Even the Joanna Newsom evoking Leaving London – which documents how Clarke, prior to writing the record, upped sticks for the Scottish Isle of Bute – has a warm heart, and carries a lesson rather than becoming a tirade: ‘My saddle waited to go on/ Thinking this city would make me wiser, And now I know I’ve had enough… all I want is to be brighter’.
Secret Meeting score: 80