Jake Clarke / Spur - Split

Review by Shannon Shumaker

Superheaven’s Jake Clarke and dream punk band, Spur have joined forces to release a moody new split and quite possibly your new soundtrack for the final few winter months as you patiently await spring's arrival. Although there is a distinct difference between each half of the split, these eleven songs have one thing in common - they’re sure to lull you into relaxation and pull at your heartstrings.

Right off the bat, Jake Clarke’s emotional vocals and moody guitar work set the mood, opening track “Get It Together” starting things off on the right foot. The first songs is really quite beautiful, but with a somber, melodramatic feeling to it. It’s emotional, but also soothing and comforting, the perfect thing to listen to while getting cozy in bed and hiding from the cold. While “Get It Together” feels a bit warmer, the following “Yellow Gown” definitely feels more somber and emotional. Vocally, though, this track really shines, showcasing the power in Clarke’s half-yells and ability to emote.

The only downside, however, comes in the lack of variety in each of Jake Clarke’s tracks. Although each song is absolutely stunning (especially the surreal guitar work in “Falling”) there just isn’t much diversity from track to track. When an artist only has a few songs on a split to prove themselves to potential new listeners, you almost want to hear something that will catch you off guard. That’s not to say that the songs are weak by any means, though. Musically, “Falling” is absolutely stunning and “Ike’s Place” is filled to the brim with emotion and longing as Clarke sings, “I’m more lonely than you think.”

Taking a step away from Jake Clarke’s more mellow sound is Spur’s half of the split which, while still rather emotional and soothing, is definitely a bit more high energy than the first half. This is in part due to Spur’s solid full band sound. Kicking off their five tracks is “Out Of View,” and although the instrumentals tend to sound a little muddy and compressed compared to those on Jake Clarke’s half of the split, the saving grace is in the stunning vocals work.

Musically, Spur's second song, “Fire” more than makes up for the shortcomings of “Out Of View.” Not only is there a lot going on in this track, but it’s full of energy, strong vocal work and smart songwriting. The slower, “No Wish” also shines alongside “Freeze,” where the instrumentals can tend to get a little fuzzy once more. As a whole, however, Spur and Jake Clarke’s sounds mesh perfectly together, creating a warm, soothing split that will lull you into relaxation. These eleven songs are easy to listen to and will have you hitting repeat by the time it comes to an end.

Rating: 3/5

Listen to "Yellow Gown" by Jake Clarke and "Fire" by Spur