“His exploration of the human condition echoes Scott Walker, with his unique, delicate vocals and intricate playing forged in a contemporary Intimate setting”
- Keith Ames, The Musician Magazine (MU)
"Sweet, evocative, soulful"
- Tania Deaville, The Brighton Argus
Brighton based British singer-songwriter guitarist Seany Clarke delivers an “intriguing take on 21st century life” embracing elements of folk, soul and jazz with individual flair.
“His exploration of the human condition echoes Scott Walker, with his unique, delicate vocals and intricate playing forged in a contemporary Intimate setting.”- The Musician Magazine (MU)
Driven by his percussive finger-style acoustic guitar moves, Seany Clarke’s down-to-earth sound is often sung with irony, pathos and playfulness. Artists such as Curtis Mayfield, Elvis Costello, Paul Weller and John Martyn inspire him. But they are just part of a rich woven tapestry of influences stretching back to his early love for punk bands.
After playing a well received set of new songs at the Good Vibrations Festival Community Stage, summer 2022, he releases his new album First Aid Kit, in early 2023, taking us on a curious journey through the cracks of our neurosis.
Largely conceived in the choked isolation of Covid lockdown, Seany says “what you hear on record is a kind of exorcism of those negative times from my head onto paper.” He sings about empathy, revenge, the poverty of loneliness, racism, mental health, anti-war, the trappings of nostalgia that stop us from moving forward, the objectification of the male gaze, and the unpleasent consequence of actions without thought. The album track “Unwanted Tattoo” for example, is about the latter theme.
“The song was concieved as an allegory on when we sometimes say ‘yes’ to something against our better judgement. It’s about the conquences that follow the ‘what the f*** was I thinking’ moment, if you know what I mean. Of course, I have nothing against Tattoos.”
Seany's forthcoming release will be the follow-up to his 2021 single, “Have You Had Enough?” The song featured on BBC Music Introducing the South's Track of the Day with its sweet spring time Vivaldi flavour string arrangement. “This song is my mundane treasure”. “It’s about when you're feeling chewed up by the tough daily grind. It's about that moment when you take a deep breath and you're thinking, you know, I can't take this no more. I wanna be chasing my dreams instead of chasing the bosses tail.”
The themes of Seany Clarke’s previous singles, “When the Craving Comes” (2021) and “Breathe” (2020) are just as deep and meaningful. The former is about smartphone addiction. “I wrote “When the Craving Comes” as if it was a love-hate relationship between two people - as a metaphor for phone affection”, says Seany. “One minute you’re soothed by a balm, the next you’re hateful and anxious.”
“Breathe” takes a political stance: a folk & soul clarion call for equality that has shades of Curtis Mayfield with Style Council strings. It’s about the fight to live, daring to dream of a world free from racial injustice. For Seany, ‘ “Breathe” is a struggle for peace of mind, fairness and unity. We can either retreat or fly into the future.”
Seany’s previous album Familiar Strangers (2019) was described by The Musician Magazine (MU) as “exhibiting a keen eye and ear for the subtleties of relationships.” He zooms into the troubled mind, mirroring personal experience and sharing them with irony, pathos and playfulness. “I’m looking into an infinity mirror seeing myself and a million strangers receding in a row. Are we so different after all?”
His fascination with Oscar Wilde and his book, The Picture of Dorian Gray, inspired his songs about misplaced desires, disillusionment and self-destruction in his debut long player, I Can Resist Anything But Temptation (2016), described by soulandjazzandfunk.com as “classy 21st Century pop with a soulful undertow."
Seany Clarke’s first release was 2010s Funky Boy Racer EP. In it’s review, the Brighton Source Magazine wrote “Sly, Curtis and even Prince are all present in spirit as the vocal lilts above notes we’re personally incapable of reaching this side of puberty."
Seany recorded very early demo matarial in Liverpool with former Boo Radley's bassist and drummer Tim Brown and Rob Cieka.
He would later become co-writer-singer-guitarist for Catskills Records’ Soul Funk outfit Hardkandy, playing a major role in their Last to Leave album. The Telegraph remarked on Seany's “outstanding soul vocals” for Hardkandy.
He was also bass player and lead guitarist for Gut Records’ indie band Chungking.
With both bands, and as a solo artist, he has played major British and European venues.
“Outstanding soul vocals” (for former band Hardkandy) – The Telegraph
“He delivers an intriguing take on 21st-Century life” – The Musician (Journal of the Musicians’ Union)
“Sweet, evocative, soulful” – The Argus
“Classy 21st Century pop with a soulful undertow” – soulandjazzandfunk.com
“Sly, Curtis and even Prince are all present in spirit as the vocal lilts above notes we’re personally capable of reaching this side of puberty” – Brighton Source