Until a few weeks ago, I was completely oblivious to Luke Clerkin and his music. I had no idea this Dubliner with the soulful vocals even existed. It’s only been a few weeks, but I’ll admit that Clerkin has transformed my personal playlist from conventional to extraordinary. No offence to the others on the list, but Clerkin does have a special something lacking in many other singer/songwriters. His latest release is the five-track EP What Little Time We Have Left.
Lying somewhere between Paulo Nutini, James Blunt and some Westlife ballads, What Little Time We Have is a 17-minute batch of sincerity and heartache. Clerkin expertly draws you in with the opening track ‘Confession Box’ combining whispers with soothing melodies. Sounds good, doesn’t it? It’s an emotional rollercoaster that leaves you curled up in your cardigan munching on chocolate. When you think it’s over, Clerkin moves onto the poignant ‘Closure’.
What I enjoy about this EP is Clerkin’s exploration of different musical styles. I’m not saying he sounds like Norah Jones in one track and Mick Jagger in the other, but there is a shift from ‘Confession Box’ to ‘Stones’ and ‘Nocturnal’. Grittier and perhaps somewhat gruffer, ‘Nocturnal’ and ‘Not In Love’ have a rock edge over the other tracks. However, my favourite would have to be ‘Stones’ – a soothing track with steady instrumentation and soaring vocals.
It’s easy for albums like these to border on pretentious, but Clerkin manages to find the delicate balance between manufactured emotion and completely honest music. Exploring the complex theme of human relationships, What Little Time We Have is a relatable and inspiring EP. Well-placed instrumentation complements the effortless vocals making it easy to lose both your head and heart. Perhaps it’s just my love for the Irish accent, but Luke Clerkin is onto a winner with this. I can’t wait to see what else the Dubliner has up his sleeve.