Steven A. Clark’s gratuitous track “Seashore” has gone viral and is now plastered across music blogs across the interwebs. His upcoming release, Fornication Under the Consent of the King (F.U.C.K.) is an album inspired by a traumatic breakup with an ex, leaving him with an “absolute acceptance for the effects of love, including the adoration and despise, bliss and pain.” Clark admits to Rolling Stone in a very Justin Vernon fashion that he “wrote this song while living in a windowless warehouse, thinking about [his] ex, and watching Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind on repeat.”
Clark’s voice and melodies meld and melt together like the captivatingly unexpected rise and fall of oil and wax. Unfortunately, Clark has fallen into the same trap as fellow R&B megastars Frank Ocean and Abel Tefaye (The Weeknd): Clark’s talent is muddied by an inability to write lyrics that match the sincerity of his music. Intentions aside, Seashore’s lyrics are unconvincing and nearly emotionless, however, once I got beyond the clichéd verses, I was able to appreciate that what makes Clark a good musician is that he’s a musician, not a lyricist.
“Seashore” opens with an elastic, kick drum beat, subtly marked by colliding samples and atmospheric distortions that force the listener onto the dance floor. Clark’s music simulates the rhythmic-yet-drowsy crash of ocean waves while the persistent bass maintains the elasticity of youth that fuels the careless feel of summer. Clark’s voice is deep, sexy, and mysterious, echoing from the depths of heartbreak and guilt. As the song progresses, you find yourself hopelessly drifting in the waves of playfully spectral synthesizer. Soon, the hypnotizingly repetitive melody cascades into a faraway, android guitar solo. Clark’s musicality never fails to capture the listener, leaving you addicted to a sound exclusively his.
If you find yourself hitting play over and over on this track, I’d recommend taking a look at the video for Clark’s other F.U.C.K. track, “Don’t Have You,” or if you’re new to Steven A. Clark, listen to self-produced record STRIPES. Fornication Under the Consent of the King will be available September 11th on L&E Media Co. and BloodyGround USA.