Interview: Clara and the Sky

We were recently introduced to your sound through your single “Dive”. What is the story behind the song and how did you create/write it? Also, what inspired the song title?
I saw a documentary about a digital detox center in Quebec and realized many young people are suffering from addiction to social media. They were sent into the woods to rebuild their self-esteem and get to meet other people. Some girls can’t stand to see their face without a filter, some boys can’t leave their phones and have fun outside (or the other way round). Some of them are suicidal. This documentary was an eye-opener for me and as always when something strikes me, a song was born.

I called it “Dive” because it seems to me we are basically scratching the surface of our lives when scrolling on social medias, fighting for attention and reading fake news. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great to be able to share and talk online but I feel we need a deeper kind of connection as human beings. To me, social medias are like a giant online mall, you can discover nice things there, meet some friends and shop but you are also bombarded with injunctions about how you should be/feel/look… It is just not fulfilling so I wanted to suggest we need to DIVE into the things that are really meaningful for us.

Are we right in thinking that you’ve just released a new album titled “Land!”? How was the album made and are there any themes that it deals with?
Yes, we did release it! It was made during the pandemic in our Montreal recording studio, Studio Sonaris. We wrote the songs then Richard recorded / produced / mixed it and we asked other musicians (Jean-François Lemieux and Jasmin Bataille) to play bass and drums on several songs.

Land! is about the feeling you have when you get closer to your goal, when your vision is finally becoming a reality. It is an adventurous and scary thing to move towards your dreams but this is where life becomes truly interesting! We used the metaphor of the boat : we leave the shore, we sail on unknown seas and after a few storms, we finally arrive at the destination. So, on this album, we are talking about the ocean (the unknown), social changes, war, compassion, determination, standing up for yourself and how to find hope in the midst of despair.

If you had to describe your sound, how would you do so? Furthermore, what artists (or other sources) do you cite as influences?
Our songs are always atmospheric and cinematic. The band’s signature sound stems mainly from the use of textured guitars, soulful vocals, minimalist 80’s keyboards, and the powerful rhythms of bass and drums. On Land!, you can definitely expect downtempo beats, retro synth, lead guitar layers and a beautifully melodic alt pop vibe overall.

Our main influences for Land! are : Future Islands, 21 Pilots, The Kills, Billie Eilish, Nothing But Thieves, Run The Jewels but also 80’s bands and artists such as Depeche Mode, The Fixx, Ultravox, Eurythmics, Peter Gabriel and David Bowie! We also looooove other rock bands such as Radiohead, U2, Arcade fire, The National and The Shins (and many others but we’ll keep it short!).

What have been band highlights so far? And what is on your bucket list that you’d want to achieve?
Our first album, Blind Faith was a huge milestone for us as we discovered our sound and played a lot in and around Montreal. It was a time of discovery and fun! We’ve played with other talented musicians too, on the drums and the cello, so we were able to experiment and become better musicians.

Land! is currently playing on more than 30 radio stations in Canada, Europe and Australia so we would love to benefit from this international exposure. We would love to play here and outside of Québec too, in intimate settings and in festivals, especially in Europe as I (Clara) come from France.

What plans do you have for the year ahead? How has the year been shaping up so far?
As concert venues are currently reopening, we will first focus on having a proper launch (we did it online but it’s not the same)! In March, our new EP, Terre! will be released in Québec and in France as it is in French. We will get media coverage so we hope we’ll be able to play in Europe this summer.

If you could be the main support for any living artist, who would that be for and why? Alternatively, what would be your dream live booking?
Let’s dream BIG here: Elbow, Future Islands, Coldplay, U2! We share the same humanism and social justice is important to us all. I (Clara) have worked for many years in humanitarian and community work.

What artists have you been listening to? Additionally, who should others be listening to?
Recently, we’ve discovered FKA Twigs and find she has this innovative twist we enjoy! The bird and the bee is very cool too. Big Thief is at the top of our list right now. Our all time favorites are Sufjan Stevens, Björk, Tori Amos, Jeff Buckley and Sigur Ros.

There are many great artists around us too, you can check Jesse Mac Cormack (if you like indie rock music), La Maison H (if you like French songs) and Melissa Furlotte -(if you like more jazzy songs!)

Clara and the Sky: Bandcamp | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube

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