Stephen Clair has spent half his life having a conversation with his audience about what we’re all doing here. It’s his favorite conversation because it has no end.
The simplicity that imbues his songs can sometimes hide the keen wordsmithing and deceptively intricate fretwork that also elevates them.
“I like to zero in on the small stuff,” says Clair. “Our biggest moments in life, our hopes, triumphs and losses, can often be summed up by looking at the crumpled cover of a magazine on the coffee table, rather than the whole living room. I learned that as much from reading Raymond Carver as I did from listening to Bobby Charles.”
“I’ve had plenty of fans thank me for wearing my heart on my sleeve,” he confesses.
Releasing on May 20th, To The Trees is an album in the classic sense, all the songs are part of a piece; its uniqueness lies in its remarkable open heartedness.
“My first influences came from the country music records my grandfather would play. There’s a directness in those early recordings—shared by the singers, the songs and the arrangements.”
To The Trees is Clair’s ninth album. And while it’s no country collection, his voice has never sounded better. Clair is in top form; the songs simple and elegant. With it, he shares his personal journey: a Hudson Valley parent, a lifelong songwriter, another guy simply walking his piece of the planet. It’s undeniably engaging; and always with that touch of Clair wit.
To The Trees was a collaborative affair, recorded with The Restless Age (drummer Lee Falco, keyboardist Will Bryant and bassist Brandon Morrison). Talented beyond their years, and capable of sibling-like vocal harmonies, they’ve toured backing Donald Fagen and their resume includes work with Kate Pierson (B-52’s), Rachel Yamagata and The Lemonheads.
Clair knew just what he was getting into. The music on this record soars.
Today Glide is excited to premiere the video for the standout track “Let It Out,” a big brass soul-rocker brimming with positivity. The insanely catchy chorus transforms this soulful power pop tune into a full-blown anthem that seems like the perfect soundtrack for a world that is slowly and maybe even surely returning to a sense of normalcy.
Clair describes the inspiration behind the tune:
“Ever since I got the masters back for this record all I want to do is blast this song and shuffle my feet. It’s the first song I’ve recorded that repeats the refrain five billion times at the end—and it’s still not enough. Kinda makes you want to LET IT OUT.”