Lindsay Clark Showcases the Beauty in Stillness with 'Crystalline' (album stream) (premiere)

Photo: Myles Katherine

Lindsay Clark's Crystalline is a rare exhibition of the weight that minimalism can bear in contemporary, reflective folk music.

Releasing on 21 September via Oscarson, Portland's Lindsay Clark offers instances of subtle beauty on her new full-length album, Crystalline. Across the LP's collection of nine songs, Clark embraces a stillness in the open air of her arrangements. From the way the tracks are musically composed to their lyrical definitions, Crystalline is a rare exhibition of the weight that minimalism can bear in contemporary, reflective folk music. Beauteous melodies dance betwixt delicate rhythms impressed by open-tuned fingerpicking and gentle, crooning harmonies throughout.

As it turns out, the quiet ruminations that pervade Clark's newest endeavor were mostly developed at a time between the ruckus of significant life changes. The artist tells PopMatters, "I started writing Crystalline while I was at the Washington coast, a little lodge called the Sou'wester that has a beautiful creative energy. I was out there for a residency, but I only wrote one song while I was there (or at least one that I kept - 'Torch'), another one came a little later, and then from there they kept on coming."

"By the time I set the dates to record, the songs only half done and some I wrote or finished while in the studio ('Fields of Green'). I had been struggling to write for awhile but at a certain point, around the time I went out to the Sou'wester, I decided I would write another album no matter what because I loved music so much and couldn't lose it. Once I made that decision the songs started to flow a little more. I had no idea what this album would look like - I wrote probably almost 100 songs, and threw most of them away."

"What ended up on there were for me about many different moments over a couple of years - a relationship ending ('Grow'), grappling with my own despair and hopelessness ('Deliver Me'), my brother whose mental health continued to spiral downward and trying to hold onto the innocence of our childhood ('Fields of Green'), and other themes of change, time, and distance that flow throughout. Mostly I just wanted (and needed) to write something that was as true to life as I could manage, with no filler, and I wanted to love each song. I hope that comes through for the listener.

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