Seany Clarke is a British singer-songwriter whose music has developed into a casual, rhythmic blend of alternative folk and soul with a sound and colour that is often half a step outside traditional borders of genre. Coining his sound as “fly-folk”, Seany takes inspiration from a wide array of artists such as Curtis Mayfield, Elvis Costello, Paul Weller, Richie Havens and John Martyn.
Seany's second album 'Familiar Strangers’ will be released in July 2019. Entirely self-penned, self-produced and self-played, he gives us acoustic psychodrama that courts tenderness and submits to tension. As Seany zooms into the troubled mind, he finds echoes of his own experiences and shares them with irony, pathos and playful sadness. Seany puts it this way: “I’m looking into an infinity mirror seeing myself and a million different shades of strangers receding in a row. In divided times are we so different after all?”.
The album’s intimate themes play around Seany’s lower soulful vocal register this time. Compare and contrast it to when the Brighton Source Magazine wrote of his voice lilting “above notes we’re personally incapable of reaching this side of puberty” in 2010s fiery Funky Boy Racer EP review. “I worked out that you can be heard a lot more when you’re not in people’s face so much”, says Seany.
The Feisty voice started to relax in 2016 when he sang about our misplaced desires, disillusionment and self-destruction with the Oscar Wilde inspired debut long player, ‘I can Resist Anything But Temptation’, described by soulandjazzandfunk.com as “classy 21st Century pop with a soulful undertow”. Seany took his message to the stage on a support tour at venues such as Nell’s Jazz and Blues, London, and Exeter Phoenix, as well as to more recent supports that included Dexy’s Midnight Runners’ hero Geno Washington. These gigs saw him perform stripped-back acoustic versions of songs from the album that bristled with raw soulful & rhythmic intent - a vibe that has come a long way since Seany’s punky beginnings.
Originally from London, Seany started life as a rock drummer/guitarist but would soon establish himself as an acoustic singer-songwriter, gaining confidence by busking on the London tubes. “I'd get a lot of attitude from small minds because I sang like an indie kid”, says Seany. “I was into the Jam, for instance. People are far too complex to be controlled by stereotypes.” He became a regular performer at London venues such as Spits and the Kashmere club supporting the likes of Kiki Dee and Nick Heyward. By this time he had already moved to Brighton, but no sooner had he done so than he found himself hiking to Liverpool to record his demo material with former Boo Radley'sbassist and drummer Tim Brownand Rob Cieka.
“Sly, Curtis and even Prince are all present in spirit" - the Brighton Source
Soul became woven into the rich tapestry of Seany’s music. He began producing his own material as well as pulling his weight as co-writer-singer-guitarist for Catskills Records’ soul, funk outfit Hardkandy, playing a major role in their Last to Leave album, as well as being bass player for Gut Records indie band Chungking. With both bands, and as a solo artist, he played major British and European venues. The Telegraph remarked on Seany's outstanding soul vocals for Hardkandy.