- (Of language) open to more than one interpretation; having a double meaning.
- Unclear or inexact because a choice between alternatives has not been made.
Last month something in my inbox announced that Peter Green had released a new album. Intrigued, I clicked through to see what the ex-Fleetwood Mac guitarist has been up to recently. It wasn’t what I was expecting. Ambient orchestral music is very different from everything Peter Green, the blues man, has done in the past. On further investigation it turns out that there’s a Peter Green who writes music for babies and infants as part of an early years education project. As far as I can see there’s no connection between the blues guitarist and the baby music composer, but the works of both these gentlemen appeared under the one “Peter Green” artist on Spotify.
I reported a “broken song or wrong song information” and got a standard acknowledgement email from the Spotify support bot. Wait a minute while I check… Yes, there are now two artists called Peter Green on Spotify. Excellent. Although the baby music composer has the other Peter Green and several of his associates listed as “related artists”. I guess the software isn’t quite clever enough yet. Or perhaps there was a fallible human in the loop somewhere.
Then a couple of days ago the December issue of the Rock & Indie Newsletter featured several artists I’m not familiar with and I started to explore their offerings. I got stuck on Cloves.
The link provided in the Newsletter was to a YouTube video of a live version of Don’t You Wait. Visually the video is very ordinary. It’s all shot in a recording studio, the camera panning back and forth between the five members of the band: singer, guitarist, pianist, bass player, drummer.
The song starts with the quiet, slow strumming of an electric guitar and a young woman’s voice. It’s the kind of song that Adele writes, a slow ballad with a very personal message, but it’s sung with a silky, sensual, captivating voice like Lana Del Rey. It’s as if your lover has sat down beside you and is telling you gently that the relationship is over:
I could have stayed there but it wouldn’t be fair to you.
I could have faked it but I couldn’t see it through.
Like a fly, blind to the danger, Crotchety Man was instantly caught up in the sticky silk of Cloves musical web.
Turning to the other Web and invoking the magic incantation “cloves band” revealed that ‘Cloves’, in that context, is ambiguous. More than ambiguous, in fact. Apart from a band/artist called ‘Cloves’ there was a music project of that name by the Scottish musician Philip Ivers, there’s a band from Washington State called ‘The Cloves’ and another band called just ‘Clove’ from Pennsylvania. The first two are lumped together on last.fm under the band/artist ‘Cloves’. I feel another “wrong information” email coming on …
After sifting out the chaff of misinformation it seems that Cloves is the stage name of the singer in the video. Her Facebook page describes her music as “Scandinavian Soothing Metal”. It also says she’s from Melbourne, Australia, she has just finished a tour of the U.S. with James Bay and her debut EP, XIII, has just been released. And that’s all I’ve been able to find out.
Unsatisfied, Crotchety Man turned to the oracle that is Spotify, and selected the artist Cloves. There’s just one entry, for the new EP, and I played all four tracks. All the songs are slow ballads; they shouldn’t be my cup of tea at all. And yet, even after a night out with friends at a local restaurant, normally guaranteed to reset the internal music player, Don’t You Wait was still in my head the following morning.
Cloves is a Siren. She has beguiled Crotchety Man with her lovely voice. Sat down beside him and opened her heart. And, in return, he has dipped into his piggy bank and bought the EP. It’s a bargain at £1.99. But does it fit into the Crotchety Collection? I’m still ambivalent about that.