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Clara Mann

Clara Mann shares debut single ‘I Didn’t Know You Were Leaving Today’ via SAD CLUB Records.

Newcomer Bristolian singer-songwriter Clara Mann reflects on a lack of freedom and loneliness with her debut single ‘I Didn’t Know You Were Leaving Today’ out now via Sad Club Records.

Clara Mann writes intimate folk songs, meandering between a complex and vulnerable style through her knack for plaintive storytelling which warmly welcomes you into her world, sweetened by the warm of the fiddle and harmonium.

This track marks Clara’s debut release to Spotify, after the successes of releasing a multitude of lo-fi demos on bandcamp. Clara retains the honesty and integrity of lost folk songwriters from the 1950s such as Connie Converse and Molly Drake, deeming the young songwriter an exciting artist to watch in the current folk scene.

I Didn’t Know You Were Leaving Today’ reflects Clara’s display of the fragility of humanity, laying her feelings bare with the mundanity of everyday happenings and loneliness, weaving them gracefully into her lyrics. Clara welcomes you to her delicately bittersweet ether with her musings of being in a breathtaking setting with no other human to share it with, feeling ‘trapped’ with the feeling of freedom being just out of reach. Clara also notes the influence of artist Andrew Wyeth in her work, with the single being loosely inspired by his colours and visions of the world, with their haziness and faded palette.

Clara notes the late great Charles Aznavour’s influence within this song:

There’s a real sense of storytelling in artists like Charles Aznavour’s music, and I love how alive those songs are. That had a huge impact on me.’

The single was recorded with producer Benjamin Spike-Saunders (Cruelty) and mastered by Alice Western (BUGS). Due to the constraints of COVID, this track was recorded and mixed remotely, being recorded alone in Clara’s bedroom and mixed by Ben in his, both of them playing a part in the arranging process. Piano, guitar and vocals were done by Clara Mann, with the fiddle played by Marika-Tyler Clark and Felix M-B on harmonium and second guitar. Due to this recording process, the songs have emerged as a natural and intimate reaction to her environment. Clara notes:

‘It was mostly just me and my mic at my desk, willing the neighbours to keep quiet through the takes. It was okay- just a bit lonely at times! ‘

Clara grew up in a small village in the South of France, and grew up with classical music always around her, from choral pieces to chamber music. She is a classically trained musician, playing piano and voice, with classical music playing a great part of her identity as a folk musician:

The village we grew up in was ( as a lot of the south of France is) deeply Catholic, so actually, religious music really affected me, at least from a musical point of view. My family weren’t really religious, but it was so ingrained into the village life - some of the arrangements on the EP are really quite choral, which I suppose must come from that side of my life!’

Artwork / Photograph : Chiara Gambuto

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