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EP Review: Claire – ‘Broken Promise Land’

3 min read

Does anyone else recognise the pattern of name similarity for indie artists, such as Claire, Lorde, or Birdy? The same can also be said for the music they come out with. They tend toward repetition while claiming to be different from the mainstream.  Take the Broken Promise Land EP from the Claire as an example. It wants to be different, claims to be different, is in a genre that is known for its difference but mostly all I really hear is dull sounding vocals, an even duller sounding synth and drums that are out of tune or should have been left in the 80’s. Seeing that the band has nearly two thousand followers on Soundcloud and only 17 of them have liked this EP, this tells me (a first time listener), that it isn’t their best work.

ClaireBrokenPromiseLandEPBroken Promise Land’s first track (weirdly entitled Broken Promise Land) mixes a combination of Empire of the Sun and The Naked and Famous together with dull echo vocals that have no real drive or passion behind them.  The synth on the other hand is overpowering (but still nothing special) and you could assume the band loves it more than any other instrument. The song never really goes anywhere; there is no bridge, breakdown or different section other from the verse or chorus. To make matters worse, there is no real hook or words in the lyrics that make you think this is a catchy song that just might get stuck in your head one day for all the wrong reasons.

Games took me by surprise at first. After doing a little digging, I found that this song had been remixed by artists such as Passion Pit and I Heart Sharks. Games starts off sounding like something Florence (and The Machine) and Daft Punk might do together, and to be honest it is groovy and cool. Josie Burkle’s vocals are bubbly and sweet, and it feels like a good song to cruise to with your significant other.  This is however let down a little by the rather dull male vocals from another member in the band. You could argue that it is a good balance, adding lower sounding male vocals to the higher sounding female vocals, but personally I would have loved to hear Josie let her pipes stand alone.

Pioneers is undoubtedly Claire’s biggest song with over 30 thousand plays but I can’t understand why. It’s a very breathy song and I feel like Josie is holding her range back. It has a very limited structure and the song doesn’t move me in any way. This is the issue I have with this EP – its blah and forgettable except for Games. Broken Promise Land looks promising from the hype, but only delivers mainly dull and boring.