Singled Out: Clever Thing's In A Tissy

Clever Thing

Rich Fownes (too many credits to list) tells us the story behind Clever Thing's debut single "In A Tissy". The band is billed as existing "in the little explored musical space between Billie Holiday and Black Flag." Here is the story:

The most profound advice I ever heard from another musician on the art of songwriting was Michael Jackson describing how you have to 'get out of the way of the song'- certainly one of his more salient moments, and his less questionable philosophies.

At the time I heard this I barely knew what it meant; and to abandon your ego and become a conduit for the infinity of a musical cosmos can be a tall order!

It's not an over-exaggeration, though, to say that this is one of the few songs I've worked on where we didn't feel like there was anything to work on. We we're practically handed the song, and seeing as no-one else is taking for the credit for it, we're ca$$$hing in.

Daisy and I listen to a lot of swing music. It was an independent love for us both, and something we really bonded over. After a big, bad big-band binge I ended up humming the riff into my phone, it just popped into my head and never needed any help. When I came back from work Daisy had slapped the cleverest, funniest and catchiest vocals on top. Again, it was just "yep, that's how that f***in' goes".

We took it to James, our drummer, who just slipped the cheeky Jungle Book / Tommy Dorsey-esque beats that you hear without much thought, and everyone was all smiles at every point.

When we formed this band, we had an ideal sound in our heads of blending swing music with gnarly, doomy rock, but we didn't know how well we could do it, or if it would ultimately sound like gimmickry; so we were overjoyed for more than the song itself. It was a very personally affirming time for us as songwriters, and as a new band in general.

The only thing we deliberated over was one lyric : 'My brain's dispersing' became 'my brain's disgusting' We were only mulling it over for a while because we loved them both so much. So the only struggle was which was more fun, and that's a predicament I hope we keep finding ourselves in going forward.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself here and learn more about the group right here!


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