Single Review – Gary Clark Jr. – Church

Gary Clark Jr is an American guitarist/singer who was born in Austin, Texas who began playing guitar at an early age playing small local gigs in his teens before meeting Clifford Antone, propertier of the Austin music club Antones. Clark’s musical trademarks are his distorted guitar sound and smooth vocals citing a variety of different genres such as blues, jazz, soul and country as his musical influences. With his debut album Blak And Blu he has just become the first artist ever recognized by the Recording Academy with Grammy Award nominations in both the rock and R&B categories for the same album in the same year, winning the latter: Best Traditional R&B Performance – “Please Come Home”(from the album Blak And Blu).

Both a fantastic singer and guitarist his latest offering to tantalise with his slick vocals and distorted guitar is the single Church, with an expected release date of early September. A clear homage to his musical influences, Church is an excellent example of Clark at his best, sizzling electric guitars pierce through laidback, rolling drums underpinning the very essence of the track. Clarks passion and energy for the music he produces clearly transpires onto his latest track, creating an emotive ambience that pushes the boundaries of the stereotypical solo guitarist come singer, opening up a sense of limitless creativity that plays such as vital role in Clarks musical ethos. The smooth vocals perfectly capture the intensity of Clarks voice; only adding to the emotiveness created by the music and adds a whole new dimension to the song. Clarks vocal ability is exceptional and his lyrical prowess a real addition to his work, with the ability to put so much passion into his music, his lyrics making him stand out from other writers and musicians, making his music more and more effortlessly stylish. Throughout the track it’s clear to see that Clark has a passion for his music with his ability to portray his emotions through his songs making him a more and more popular artist. The track itself is emblazoned with instruments that clearly relate to his own musical influences, harmonicas are brought in and out throughout, creating that link to country, yet as always keeping with Clark’s own style. His ability to effortlessly create his own niche in an often over saturated singer/songwriter genre a key and unique ability within his work.

Throughout this track Clark offers up a fantastic piece of music that not only plays well but allows the listener to getter a deeper incite into the workings of the artist. The track clearly has influence of genres such as country and blues, but through Clarks unique style allows the artist to stamp his own mark on it. It is this ability to transfer his energy and passion into his music that allows it to stand out in an often over commercialized genre, that can become unoriginal and stagnant. With Church, Clark once more has proven his credentials as an excellent and emphatic singer and musician.

Matthew Kay

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