Clay Harper (from the album Bleak Beauty available as a self-release)
Death became a muse for Clay Harper, his recent release Bleak Beauty, the soundtrack of tough times as he worked through the passing of his longtime partner, Stephanie Gwinn. For the songs, Clay Harper felt that ‘this record is really not about her, it’s more about me…my feelings of love, fear, and loss. Feelings that are certainly not unique to me but are personal and unsettling. Sometimes life comes down to just sadness and coping. That’s now, and that’s this’. Bleak Beauty is wide landscape, backing the outpouring of thoughts with funk (“Friday San Francisco”), dark noir jazz “Let Me Sleep I’m So Tired”), wistful Folk (“Pretty Victor”), and somber tones (“Stephanie Sleeps”). A mix of sound and poetic passages, Bleak Beauty holds a mirror up to the darkness of difficult moments in life as Clay Harper speaks over scattered notes, offering thanks with “The Kindness of Strangers”, filling a dreamlike melody with real-time hopes in “We Still Have Time”, and testifies in the title track backed by stark piano and ethereal harmonics.
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