Set Out With Me – Claire
Broken Promise Land
15:45 min • Astralwerks • September 24, 2013
Andrew Darley reviews
When you first look at the cover of Broken Promise Land, there isn’t a whole lot that differentiates itself from designs that have fronted many alternative pop albums in recent times. Otherworldly landscapes, bold typography, astral and triangle motifs have consistently featured in escapist record covers for the last five years. This impression left me wondering whether the Claire’s music would also fall into a trend or stand out for itself?
The band was formed in Munich, where three young musicians and producers – Matthias Hauck, Nepomuk Heller and Florian Kiermaier – decided at the beginning of 2012 to create a song for a commissioned film project they were involved in. Seeking a vocalist, they called upon Josie-Claire Bürkle. When the song was complete there was an instant connection between them and belief that their experiment could become something more. One year later and now a five piece with a drummer, the band are ready to release their brand of music they call “neon pop”.
Broken Promise Land is their first release containing four songs with each showcasing a different style. The opening title track bursts open with a syncopated rhythm, brash drums and a bombastic chorus. This is followed by the straightforward dance pop of the lead single ‘Games’. The song switches between male and female vocals as they sing of a relationship with someone unable to commit and their desire to make it work,
And it’s alright as long as I can be with you,
And it’s alright as long as I can stay –
The band takes a turn with the dark electro throb of ‘Pioneers’ before picking things up again with the vibrant ‘Set Out With Me’ which Josie-Claire desires to escape to the depths of nature.
Although the EP has moments of beauty and strong melodies, the band is short on their own identity and sound. They are essentially having fun making music together similar to that they themselves listen to. It’s easy to see why they coined the term “neon pop” to tag themselves with: their music is bright, fun and uplifting. However, the true nature of the neon intends to captivate and stun those who witness it. This EP is a picture of a band in their teething stages with an ability to create well-produced and enjoyable pop songs. Similar to the cover art, the band need to develop in order to find a sound that distinguishes them in their own right. With their debut album, The Great Escape, due out this year in their homeland, time will tell if Claire expand on their brand of pop and make a unique statement. Broken Promise Land is a pleasing listen and worth a visit.