Clientele Bonfires On The Heath

Clientele Bonfires On The Heath

The Clientele have carved themselves a rather narrow but fertile niche in the indie pop world, making lovely, quiet psychedelic music. From their early singles to their past couple of classic albums for Merge, they've established themselves as the worthy successors to the likes of Felt and other similarly minded Creation bands. Yet they are more critically acclaimed than commercially so and that might have finally worn them down. Bonfires On The Heath, supposedly the band's last album, has all the hallmarks of every other Clientele record: breathy vocals and iridescent, hazy guitars that make for a gorgeous mix. The arrangements are just wonderful too, with such subtle intricacy that every listen reveals something new, something that is equally true of their eloquent lyrics. Despite the band's claims that the album is a return to their earlier sound, Bonfires On The Heath takes their music in some new directions. The more upbeat songs might initially sound almost jarring amidst the usual pastoral tunes but they do paint a picture of a band at ease with their emerging experimental side. It's just in time for them to call it a day, but at least they're going out on top with another near-perfect record. (Merge)