In the cynical-hip, flavor-of-the-month atmosphere that is contemporary show-biz USA; of recycled rebel angst and video-ready irony; Jeffrey Clark has managed something odd; staying out from under the parade of ever-shifting trends while walking a singular musical path, creating a small but coherent and prismatic body of work.
To the initiated there is something special in what Jeffrey Clark does. In the words of British music critic Andrew Perry, Clark's songwriting is "... truly lyrical... self exploratory... these are the closest you'll get to poetic words integrated into the rock idiom."
"I like to think of what I do as protest music in an odd way, like sensual protest music," Clark says. "I think the way to undermine the people who seem bent on turning the world into a video game is to see more deeply, connect more, feel more..."
if is, only the second solo work yet released by Clark, certainly lives up to that promise. Written and recorded over several years in various studios with a shifting array of musicians, the album, eight tracks ranging from glimmering chamber pop to sweeping, ambient soundscapes, all punctuated with haunted-house melodies and Clark’s thoughful and often intense lyrics, was released in the Spring of 2010.
“hmm... four albums in twenty years. I guess I make guys like Scott Walker or Kevin Shields look prolific, ” laughs Clark. “I could explain the myriad, crazy reasons why it’s taken me this long to release another album. I mean, if anybody cares to know I’ll spell it out, but ultimately it doesn’t really matter, since what’s important is the work itself. Anyway, it’s ready to see the light of day and I’m very satisfied with how it all turned out. Ha! I’ll see if I can pick up the pace from here on out!”
if is was produced by Jeffrey Clark himself and mixed by Noah Georgeson (Devendra Banhart, Bert Jansch, Joanna Newsom, etc.)
Among the musicians contributing to the album’s eight tracks are the likes of drummer Joe Berardi (Rufus Wainwright, Stan Ridgeway, etc.); Todd Sickafoose (Ani DiFranco); Vince DiFiore (Cake); and bassist James Brenner (Shiva Burlesque, Scenic).