Cluttered Clarity are no strangers to weaving dance-based groove into their jazz-fusion inspired singles. They list influences from the likes of Snarky Puppy and The Roots reflecting albums like 2017s 'Follow Your Dreams,' with 'Pull Me Down,' a four-minute-long joyride of plum packed jazz-fusion stanza. This year, amongst the defining yellow tape lines and face masks of the ongoing pandemic, "To The Top," was made during quarantine, and it's flipping the coin to reveal a fresh Cluttered Clarity in all their attention-grabbing silhouettes.
This song stars layered synth pads, a chunky warbling bass line, trumpet shots, and a small choir of flutes until the song's groove presents itself. "To The Top" also serve well as an educated divide into a more contemporary-jazz leaning selections the Boston based band produce so expertly and effortlessly. Those who feel that the best songs should aim directly at a single catchy hook and a dull, straightforward rhythm would be practicing self-enlightenment by diving into the offerings of Cluttered Clarity. Through our in-common isolation, strung together with lines like "I have a groove, it keeps me going, I have a mood, It keeps me going," resonate and provide a well-needed rush of dopamine. With its steadfast beat on two and four, charismatic lead vocals, and a chorus that disarms, "To The Top" is intrinsically formulated to squeeze through the restraints of contemporary songwriting and prescribe it a musically intelligent edge. With its brisk less than three minutes run time, this track's undying groove lives on in your heart even as the final bars cut away.
How does it feel knowing that with all things considered, after you downtime starting after the release of Follow Your Dreams, things are finally starting to come together with the collaboration of Rémy and all the new associated musicians you've been featuring on the new tracks?
It's a great feeling. What I prefer doing most is playing shows. However the first few years after I moved back to Luxembourg, it was hard to find the musicians who play the same style of music as in the US. Now since I found the right musicians, the next step is to release more music, increase our visibility and give bookers a reason to book as for a show. Furthermore, the work with Rémy makes things so much easier. We have the same ideas about where our music should go and what the perfect act looks like. Also, all the business-related stuff is easier as we divide everything between Rémy and me.
How did you manage to produce such an uplifting single in times that inspire much of the opposite? Have you found support in your collaborators, or is there another source for your upliftment?
Rémy and I lived together for 3 years in Boston. In College, we had some classes on building your career and staying motivated and at home, we took great interest in books that relate to the same topic. So the whole spirit of the song about staying focused on your work is something that we talk about already for years. Also, we didn't write the song during the lockdown. The song itself was written around September/October 2019, so there was no talk about COVID, closed borders, and lockdown. That being said, even now, we still work on what we see as important and don't let our motivation be stopped by the more difficult times we are living in right now.
The musicality you feature throughout many of your songs hints to a more extensive musical education than most. Is this the case for past members and present alike who have been featured on some of your tracks?
Correct, Rémy and I have both studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston. After this Rémy continued his studies at the Manhattan School of Music, whereas I continued my studies at Queens College (Both schools are located in New York). Most of the musicians we work with are friends that have studied with us in the US or people that have studied at great Schools around Europe. That being said, for us it's never a question of where someone has studied, but how musically someone sounds and if he fit the style of our music or not.
What can we expect from the next three releases coming later this year? Any hot off the press collaborators you could hint towards to get our engines primed?
Our next song SomeWays is a love song with a chill vibe, slower tempo, and less dancy bounce, The Timing Wasn't Right is yet another song about love that has a faster tempo, a danceable vibe and an Avicii like Interlude; "The drunken Kleptomaniac is about a person who steals, but only when he is drunk - This song has a heavier groove, dense electronics, Rap vocals and again an Avicii like an interlude. As collaborators, for the moment we focus more on working together with great producers, so the music is really tide, rather than well-known artists.
What have you been focused on with your music in 2020?
A big part of our music was songwriting and working on new music. However, we spent also quite some time getting better in music production and using Launchpads such as Ableton's Push as Instruments and light controllers to create more exciting shows, once we are allowed to get back in crowded venues where people are allowed to dance.