Galen Clark is a singer/songwriter as well as a producer and audio engineer. For over fifteen years he has been playing a wide variety of different styles of music since the age of ten. After graduating from the Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, Virginia in May of 2017, Galen did what many like-minded musicians do which is move to Brooklyn. Once there he wrote and recorded a three-song electronic EP called Amnesia using the moniker Wallace.
Clark’s debut record under his own name and recorded in the more usual singer/songwriter vein of acoustic guitar and vocals is called Providence. Many of its thirteen tracks include a list of guest stars who either recorded with him or recorded their tracks remotely. These fellows include, drummer Michael Hagen, pianist Natalie Ahearn, bassist Tyler Altstatt, banjoist Terence Blum-Marciano and Michael Mason on drums and samples.
Some of the songs on Providence were written as far back as 2013 and others came to Clark in a rush of inspiration after he had graduated and moved on. The opening track “Giants Causeway” is spritely acoustic guitar and uppity drum beats that falls into that vein of singer/songwriter café style songwriting but with a little bit more oomph behind it, as far as orchestration goes. He gets a little bit more of this on the story-telling “Easton Opal” which reminded me of Red House Painters’ early work.
When Clark wants to he can draw you in and give you a few lessons on how a song works, shows you its moving parts and he knows when to hit and when to hold so to speak. These elements of his song craft are strongest on songs like “Poet and Prose” and on the slightly eerie “Providence” which has some pretty well finger picked guitar parts that help the song stand out from just another emotive retrospective of conjugal heartbreaks past.
Looking past some of the more predictable singer/songwriter moments, at the heart of Providence is a genuine talent that will emerge after he has grown past old influences.
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