Save the Clocktower is an indie-pop band based in Chicago. Formed in 2009 by lifelong friends Greg Newton (drums, vocals), Sean Paras (guitar vocals), Jimmy Shenk (keyboards), and James Washington (bass). Their first full-length album, Carousel was released in 2011 which was very well received by critics. In 2012 they released their second album Through The Glass and now, after all these years, it is time for the next full-length album. Renaissance will be released in just a few days, June 25th.
Even though there are quite a few years between the second album and the new album, it doesn’t seem like Save The Clocktower has lost its vision. The album is full of sultry indietronica songs that are sure to stick. The songs are beautiful, dreamy and catchy, just like the previous album. Even MORE dreamy, I would definitely say. With summer approaching the release is at the perfect timing.
Leadoff track “Always” has a chill rhythm with slow drums, which sets the pace for the rest of the album. “I Wonder” has been the first single to been released, earlier this year. With somewhat disco-like vibes and more upbeat rhythm and added horns, it stands out from the album without being out of place. On the band’s Instagram page they shared a little story about how the song had come together.
“When we kicked the idea of adding horns to this song, we knew just who to call. Jimmy had lived with Matthew and a few other musicians in a bungalow on the north side of Chicago. Matthew was able to arrange a few friends Kyle & Gerald, to come in and play on the track one night, but they had a gig that same night, so we had literally an hour to get the horn tracks recorded. With the time constraints, on top of the fact that these guys were really well-known players in the Chicago scene, we were a bit nervous. When they arrived, they commented on our microphone setup, which was basically just one EV RE20 microphone to record all 3 horns at the same time. Gerald had mentioned that it was the same setup legendary producer Steve Albini used to record horns, so that broke the ice a bit. From there, we did a shot of tequila, hit record, they did their thing, and the rest was history.”
While the band underwent marriages, births, divorces, and career changes, they have matured – which can be heard through the lyrics. Renaissance is a think-piece set on music. While at the first few listens you might just get lost in the grooves, later on, the deeper meaning behind some of the songs will hit. “Close your eyes and feel” like Newton sings on the album’s beautiful closer, “Spiral Staircase”.
2. This Weight
4. See It For Yourself
5. If It’s Easier
8. I Wonder
9. Spiral Staircase