Clare Maguire – Stranger Things Have HappenedCultureMusicAlbum reviews
Clare Maguire’s new album Stranger Things Have Happened fills the air with an elegant, retro ambience. After the disappointment of her first record and a bleak period of rehab, the British singer-songwriter returns with a statement of intent: an album of expressive panache and flowing with deep, personal thoughts.
The album features plenty of numbers inspired by tear-laden stories and emotions. Elizabeth Taylor seeps a languid Adele-like beauty, with resonant piano harmonies and rich string sonorities pulling at the listener’s heartstrings. In contrast to the bold melodies of Elizabeth Taylor, Maguire showcases her delicate vocals in closing track Leave You In Yesterday, echoing the smooth, feathery tones of Sharleen Spiteri and Lana Del Rey.
Swimming trickles harmonies and instrumental colours that mutter retro pop from start to finish. Maguire makes her mark on it’s haunting vibe with her ghostly yet full-bodied vocals, alongside the jangling sonic backdrop. Meanwhile, title track Stranger Things Have Happened is an even more brooding and atmospheric affair. The song wanders through an exotic, cinematic journey, soaking the senses in opulent strings, jittery tremolo effects, gently knocking drums, metallic guitar timbres and gleaming glissandos that sit between the sounds of a harp and piano strings.
If the album has already ventured into various sound worlds, then tracks like Hanging In The Stars and Falling Leaves transport listeners out into a musical universe like no other. Hanging In The Stars sounds more like it came from home as it swims through a tranquil folk guitar ballad enriched with icy piano tones and sleek strings, while Falling Leaves transcends the musical stratosphere and travels to an otherworldly space with reverb-laden vocals and deep piano chords.
On reflection, Clare Maguire proves that musical styles of the past can still be relevant in today’s culture. Stranger Things Have Happened is a 12-part narrative of enchanting songwriting, and places the British singer-songwriter back in the presence of audiences.
Stranger Things Have Happened is released on 27th May 2016, for further information or to order the album visit here.
Watch the video for Elizabeth Taylor here: