Clemency: Nashville-based duo with a sense of the visual

Sunday 8th November 2015

Tony Cummings reports on CR radio playlist brothers CLEMENCY


The tidal wave of music releases continues to arrive at the door of Cross Rhythms and we painstakingly go through them as we seek to find those special songs which stand out against the merely good, average or (occasionally) dreadful material. As from 16th November, Cross Rhythms radio listeners will be hearing "Let Love Show The Way" by a duo called Clemency. It comes from their EP 'You've Got The Fire'. Clemency consist of brothers Jason and Paul Watkins who hail from Oklahoma. They grew up in a musical family, sang in choirs, took piano lessons and began playing music together in high school. Paul picked up the bass and Jason began writing lyrics in response: a process that hasn't changed much since then. They started Clemency right after, toured around the entire state and eventually moved to Nashville to start their careers.

In Nashville the Watkins' were introduced to Grammy award-nominated producer Brent Milligan who worked with them on their debut record, 'Vapors' (2008). 'Vapors' was celebrated for its clever use of lo-fi instrumentation and unpretentious blend of vibey pop and ambient rock. When 'Vapors' was reviewed by Indie Vision Music they enthused, "Everything about this 10-track CD is totally first rate. From the mix, to the packaging, to the creativity of the lyrics, it's completely professional. Clemency has everything covered."

In February this year the band released the 'Clemency' EP which described as a "warm and inviting six-song EP [telling] a loose love story over a fresh blend of pop and alternative rock." The undoubted highlight of the project is "Let Love Show The Way". Speaking about the song Jason said, "I think some people might hear [the track] and say 'oh that's really idealistic'. But we really believe that love is one of the greatest forces on earth, and when you do have it... and when you choose it, we can conquer a lot together and rise above a lot of adversity."

Another of the project's memorable moments is "Color Hit The Canvas". The duo's approach to songwriting often has a visual quality. Jason agrees, as he told, "I think it's just something innate, and that's kind of how it comes out. Our music is very visual to us as well, and that is kind of why we've chosen to release videos [of the songs] we've filmed just because I think the music does lend itself to a story or to something to watch." Paul added, "I think along those same lines. We love movies and we love storytelling, so it's like we want people to know that they can kind of run with it and maybe put themselves in the story. We want it to be personal to them, but then we also like to have maybe with these videos it was like okay here's kind of how we interpret it, how do you interpret it, you know, on your own? It's always a big part of it... the visual." CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.
About Tony Cummings
Tony CummingsTony Cummings is the music editor for Cross Rhythms website and attends Grace Church in Stoke-on-Trent.


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