EP Review: Michael Clancy – Songbird

In the UK country pop scene, Michael Clancy is well known for his impressive guitar work with acts like Two Ways Home, Emily Faye and Jake Morrell. Quietly, often acoustically, Clancy also takes his time in the spotlight as a lead singer.

He’s back with Songbird, his fourth EP. Soldiers is earnest and metaphor-rich so should appeal to the Two Ways Home crowd, like a tender companion piece to their song Better Days. The sentiment is ultimately uplifting: “We have had our share of pain/we are soldiers/we will fight another day.”

Black and Blue continues the soldiering on theme, again expressing the possibility of getting beyond pain with a positive outlook. Harking back to the past with a traditional campfire country sound, the lyrics are thematically appropriate: “made my way through fire and stone/found my way back to the trail.”

I’ll Return continues the military theme as a conscript assures his new bride that he will fight to get back to her: “in the fire and the fury/one thought kept his will strong/the arms where his heart belonged.” The tender sound of the song speaks to the undying sense of romance and calm that drive the soldier, mitigating the immediate experience of carnage. It fits a record that focuses on the promise of the future to survive and thrive after adversity.

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See It Through underscores this perspective. However, there’s a twist; the relationship was the problem not the salvation: “all that pain is now a memory/marking time when my heart ached for you/life has reached another chapter/the past has faded out of view…you and I could never see it through.”

The title track is the most upbeat and sonically interesting track with some tasty licks right from the start. Evidently Clancy’s philosophy permeates every track: “sometimes life can bring you to your knees/but you’ll always find a songbird in the trees.” In these uncertain times, it can’t hurt to think a bit more like Michael Clancy.

Songbird by Michael Clancy is out on May 3, 2019. Visit Clancy’s website for details.

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