The vibed-up, contagiously eclectic side of a true indie rock band has often been misled into territories of safety vs realms of possibility and intrigue. Take, Chicago indie rockers Save The Clocktower who offer a mix of rhythmic beat daggers, on-point horn lines, versatile vocals, and techy prog tendencies. The intrigue leads us forward as Save The Clocktower will be releasing their highly anticipated new album Renaissance on June 25th.
Save The Clocktower has been making music since 2011 and they’ve been featured on NPR’s World Café (Bruce Warren is a big fan and helped them pick their latest singles), Daytrotter, Earmilk, Drowned in Sound and MTV. They’ve also seen their fair share of playing live, supporting acts like Moon Taxi, White Rabbits, Vulfpeck, and Jr Jr.
Renaissance is a think-piece of sorts, set to music. Over the course of the album’s nine songs, the band explores self-actualization, relationships, and, in Renaissance’s most meta-moments, art. It’s easy to get lost in the grooves and almost miss the meaning, one that guitarist/vocalist Sean Paras defines as “Love in the shambles of the postmodern era.”
With Renaissance, Save the Clocktower – consisting of Greg Newton (drums, vocals), Sean Paras (guitar, vocals), Jimmy Shenk (keyboards), and James Washington (bass), builds on the firm foundation they laid with their previous releases, 2011’s Carousel and 2012’s Through the Glass.
Recorded at the band’s Fort Knox Studio space in Chicago, Paras describes the process as “kind of a beautiful, sacred experience in the respect that we had just invested jointly in this studio space, and the ambiance, the aesthetic grew out of the music and vice versa.”
The album was meticulously engineered and mixed by drummer/vocalist Greg Newton, and displays a maturity realized from spending 10+ years as bandmates, while at the time embracing a youthful excitement that invites you to sing along, pump your fist in the air, and “close your eyes and feel,” as Newton sings on the album’s exquisite closer, “Spiral Staircase.” It’s a beautiful trip.
Along with the Rennaissance album announcement, Glide is premiering the electronic fumed “I Wonder” (below). This anthemic composition stands proud as a banger pop song with plenty of thump and acid house flourishes. Perhaps moving its own musical hands both forward and back, Save The Clocktower vibes with the current indie versatility of Tame Impala and the throwback sounds of the Madchester dance-rock scene. Perhaps there’s an arena rock future on the horizon?
“This is a song about hypnotic idealism and delusions of grandeur (mostly — but not exclusively — in regards to romantic love). It’s a work that is dripping with juxtaposition : youthful optimism vs. aging cynicism, grandiosity vs. introspection, minimalist electronica vs. brass funk, and so on. Although the line “where did it all go wrong, I wonder?” is meant as a slightly sarcastic dig at Psychoanalysis, there is some truth in the universality of the question. And, perhaps the song presents its own answer — it doesn’t matter where or when things went wrong; while we look back over past mistakes and missed opportunities over and over, there’s been a dance party brewing in the background the whole time. Maybe it’s time to stop looking backwards for the answer. Maybe it’s time to stop looking. Period. Maybe it’s simply time to dance,” says Paras.