Penner’s voice, guitar and unique lyrical vision now guide Clues, with humble authority, originality and intent. Wedded to Reed’s superlative compositional and arranging acumen (and awesome drumming, among other instrumental skills) and abetted by multi-instrumentalists Ben Borden (Les Automates de Maxime de la Rochefoucauld), Lisa Gamble (Gambletron, Evangelista, Hrsta) and Nick Scribner (Chaotic Insurrection Ensemble), the band delivered sporadic and fantastic local performances through 2008. They then entered the Hotel2Tango studio (with Radwan Moumneh engineering) to lay down eleven songs in a feverish session during a Montreal winter deep freeze. The resulting album radiates a very special warmth and urgency, full of secrets, smiles, snarls and sing-a-longs.
This debut record yields one undeniable tune after another. It is one of those albums that coheres effortlessly in spite of the restless energy and distinct identity of each song – nothing ever really sounds or stays the same, but neither are there any forced spastics or facile schizophrenics. Forged from postpunk, no-wave and psych influences, Clues compose a rare breed of complex pop anthems that consistently inscribe their own perfect limits, without overreaching and without pandering. The overriding aesthetic avoids ornate decadence and stringent economy in equal measure. An authentic, unfussy and stirringly epic little sonic world unfolds: idiosyncratic and enigmatic, but exuberantly infectious and approachable.
Clues offer up a highly original, intensely committed and hugely satisfying definition of indie rock and we are genuinely thrilled to be shepherding it into world.