CMJ '09: Clare and the Reasons

Mercury Lounge; Tue 20

This group stars the local couple Clare and Olivier Manchon, respectively a singer-songwriter and a multi-instrumentalist. On their second album, Arrow, Olivier is credited with playing eight instruments, from violin to baby koto. Yet the record never falls prey to the fattiness that can mar such orchestral pop, building from songs that feel intimate but not small. Even so, it’s the band’s sole cover that grabs you by the lapels: Genesis’s “That’s All,” performed, ominously, with strings and tuba. The recording makes a animated case against the synthesizer, conspicuous in its absence.—Jay Ruttenberg

Clare & The Reasons

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