Jim Clements’ voice sounds to us like a cross between Donovan and Marc Bolan, with their lyrical abilities crossed with Bob Dylan, Nick Cave, and Leonard Cohen. In the ultimate sense of the word, Clements is a songwriter’s songwriter – we’re not listening for his voice, which is still quite appealing – but we’re hanging onto his every word as it drops from his lips.
Clements’ latest single, ‘The Comet I Was Waiting For’, released on October 26, comes from his fourth album, ‘A Failure’. You get the sense that the album title is self-deprecating, humorous, because Jim is far from a failure, his lyrics are complex and witty poetry, while his melodies are beautiful instrumentals which could stand on their own.
‘Comet’, at nearly four and a half minutes long, is glorious with gentle piano, violin, and the merest hint of drums in the background keeping the time. Stylistically it’s probably best described as an Americana track, but it falls closer to the folk side than to country. The melody is funereal in its rhythm, but somehow Jim Clements manages to fit in a massive number of lyrics, a steady stream of consciousness of dark humour.
Lyrics such as “I thought you’d bled away my energy/it turned out I just liked the couch”, and “And the comet I was waiting for/well that just sailed on by/and I was left with dribble on my chin/and all this extra time”, document the failure of a relationship, where neither partner wants to say it’s over, they’re biding their time until presumably one dies and the other is free to move on. It’s a very moving commentary on a situation that a lot of people in long-term relationships can find themselves in: disappointed, and wanting to move on but not having the energy to do so. It’s sad and vaguely morbid, but nonetheless strangely compelling and the track more than warrants several listens.
‘A Failure’ was released on October 26. You can find it and ‘The Comet I Was Waiting For’ on Amazon, iTunes, Bandcamp, Spotify, and SoundCloud. Jim Clements is online on his official website, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.