Eric Clemens has been an unsung hero of sorts in the Columbus scene for quite a few years now. He’s written in a number of projects; solo, as one half of the defunct duo The Brave Weather (Whether), and now as a part of the blues collective Clemens & Co.
While Clemens dropped some tasty summer ready jams via Cashmere Feel last year, he emerges this time around in a way even more down to earth than usual. His tone is down to earth and reassuring, his playing easygoing.
As the title suggests this release was recorded during the midst of the great 2020 Quarantine, but you don’t need me to expound upon this period. What I will say, though, is that Clemens has a way of communicating many emotions through one tone, which sounds counterintuitive. Let me explain: this effect is perhaps the most noteworthy in “Changes,” an uptempo track that clocks in at two and a half minutes, nearly on the dot. Lyrically, he offers thoughts of lament and conflict on top of quick strums, yet the melodies themselves are pretty calming and have a blanket of harmonies weaving the whole thing together. In “Paradigm” the song muses on some universal yet sometimes difficult truths. Yet it does so in that warm, inviting way that Clemens articulates so consistently in his music. “Connoisseur of Sorts” might my favorite of the EP, with its soft, layered instrumentation and humble subject matter. The horns and harmonica (gotta love that alliteration) add some familiar but welcome anecdotes to the track. This type of feeling isn’t one I often seek out in my music listening, but I’m always pleased when I find it.
“Come with me, and have a listen to the words and the message you’ve been missin'” sounds like it could be a mantra of sorts for Clemens, one that is still needed even in this period of slowdown and isolation. Hopefully, you slow down for 17 minutes and soak up this EP.