Review of A Small Unknowable Thing album by Josienne Clarke

Review of A Small Unknowable Thing album by Josienne Clarke

I’m really not sure that I have the words to do this album justice. It is simply stunning.

The arrangements are excellent, at heart it has a singer – songwriter vibe but it doesn’t neatly fit into a particular genre. There are slow grooves, gnarly guitars, jazz infused grooves and more uptempo songs too. 

Josienne’s vocals are beautiful, but it’s not just that. She bears her soul and reaches into yours. The vocals are captivating – sad and haunting yet there’s fierce defiance, determination and optimism. This is certainly helped by the superb lyrics. They’re very personal, brave almost and I really like how you can come to different conclusions each time you listen. 

Super Recogniser

A superb opening to the album. It opens with a trem guitar riff accompanied by drumming with background vocal effects. It’s a laid back vibe, excellent vocals, an enigmatic tune.

Like This

Gnarly guitar chords intertwined with bass create a tension reflected in the lyrics, there’s a simmering frustration.

Never Lie

A contrasting sound to this song, jangly guitar and keyboard arp and superb changes in feel. There’s a sadness to the lyrics. 

Chains

A very atmospheric track. Bass, guitar and sparse drumming create a lonesome, reflective feel. Vocals are beautiful and haunting.

If It's Not

Another reflective song with beautiful vocals and an inherent sadness.

SIt Out

Fuzz guitar and drumming give a great edge and momentum, there’s a kind of defiance in the vocals, a great attitude.

Sting My Heart

A trem guitar riff forms the basis of the song, it’s a slow groove with reflective qualities. 

The Collector

Fuzz guitar with background sound effects creates an atmospheric opening leading into an acoustic guitar riff. The song has cinematic qualities and a great edge of tension.

Tiny Bit of Life

A jazzy feel to the opening, it’s a slow groove with nice building and release of tension. Superb vocals again. 

A Letter on a Page

Acoustic riff has an urgency that contrasts against the background synth sound which provides the perfect backdrop for the vocals which are tinged with sadness. 

Deep Cut

Brooding opening, a brilliant anger and defiance in the lyrics.

Out Loud

Vocals and acoustic guitar to open, given momentum by drumming and bass. 

Repaid

Another reflective song with a slow groove, an edge of distortion and an evolving jazz vibe, there’s a determination in the vocals.

Unbound

An excellent song to close the album, it’s reflective with a great positivity in the vocals.

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