Clock Opera release their long-awaited third album Carousel on League of Imaginary Nations / !K7 Collective. Carousel is a unique and intimate look at the emotional challenges faced when becoming a father, a search for new identity and an examination of what you need to surrender in order to change. Guy Connelly, Clock Opera’s lead singer, found that the profound life changes accompanying parenthood transformed his writing process. Huge questions dominated and called him to account. How do you adapt to a fundamental shift in your place in the world? How do you accept a loss of control when every instinct tries to retain it? Learning to deprioritise and surrender yourself to what you need to become. History repeating, becoming your parents, inhabiting a body that you don’t recognise as your own. Admitting you’ve been wrong and the need to transform.
But there is also a great sense of discovery, joy and renewal to Carousel, a return to the euphoric uplift of their debut Ways To Forget; an understanding of the odds against being alive at all. A new sense of incredible wonder and happiness accompanied by a fresh set of reasons to fear the future. Then, after all this, how much of your old self, the only one you know, can survive? Carousel sees Clock Opera reach new heights in their production and songwriting craft, seamlessly combining a wide range of instrumentation, from distorted bass clarinet, French horns, Suzuki hand chimes to mournful midnight choirs and ambient swells in collaboration with found sounds and frozen moments.
Inspired by sci-fi soundtracks (Jóhann Jóhannsson, Jerry Goldsmith, Mica Levi), experimental theatre scores, unpredictable electronica and futuristic pop, Carousel was self-produced at their South London studios. Drawing from the deep artistic wells of Shawn Everett, Homogenic by Bjork, Roy Orbison and ambient Eno recordings, the album was written in a sequence of intensive bursts in hideaways from Peckham to LA. Nic Nell’s wild synth improvisations, driven through a collection of idiosyncratic 80’s delays became a huge part of the Carousel sound, drawing from the experimental electronic palette of his Casually Here recordings. As ever, Che Albrighton’s furiously energetic drums power the whole operation relentlessly to its target, with spontaneous detail and featherlight touch.
Mixed by Kristofer Harris at Squarehead Studios in Kent, in the same room that their sophomore album ‘Venn’ was made. This creative continuity has resulted in a beautiful and accomplished record, simultaneously vulnerable and triumphant, immediate and multi-layered.