Chris Clarke certainly knows a good thing when he hears it, and hearing Meadow Eliz sing for the first time was no exception. The story of these two came to be "Swimming in Speakers" is an adorable tale of happenstance and persistence, and could be a blog entry all it's own.
Over the past few months, I've gotten to know Chris quite a bit after falling quite hard for Swimming in Speakers' music. What catches you off-guard about them, is the underlining innocence beneath their extraordinary talent. If you listen to their EP, you'd never know that most of the tracks were captured in just a couple takes, which speaks volumes about a) how well they work together and b) how talented they are. From the undeniably catchy "Serve them Well" and "In Knowing," to the moody and insightful of "Near My Ear" and "Evergreen," these two have created a sound that is accessible to everyone.
Chris is an incredible multi-instrumentalist and uses Meadow's voice (we'll get into that in a moment) as the lead, often layered, never compromised. He knows exactly how to complement it, when to push other sounds, when to hold back. There's a rich, but delicate aspect to what they create, and I haven't quite figured out how they've achieved that. There's so much depth that it makes your head, well, swim. The effects he adds create a mood, but never take away from the focus of the songs. He and Meadow push each other and are musical siblings.
Meadow's darling voice, at one listen, is a drug. It turning the listener into putty as she bends, lifts, stabs, and caresses with her voice all so effortlessly. To compare her to Harriet Wheeler or Caroline Crawley is not a stretch in the least, and she might be better than both. She has that certain quality that separates her, a tonality that sets her apart from the many talented sirens out there. And, I'm told, she plays a hell of a guitar.
Both Chris and Meadow have a theater background. Both have a very distinct personality, even from each other. But they work frighteningly well together, and I hold great hope for a good career from them. Even more so, I cannot wait to see what they do live.
Listen: Swimming in Speakers - In Knowing
Swimming in Speakers on MySpace