Teddy Clarke – Bleak (2022)

We have all had days or weeks where procrastination and depression nip at our heels. With his first single of the year, Teddy Clarke brings forth these moments and adds the realisation that you have not achieved what you set out to do in ‘Bleak’. Encompassing some dark and rather bleak feelings, the single brings the process of leaving things for tomorrow to life.

While the single drips with indie-pop sensibilities, it is infused with indie rock instrumentation, which expands the style of Clarke’s music. This sound expansion was felt in his single ‘The World in Which They Play’ which introduced us to Clarke’s unapologetic sound. Using lyrics that tug at your emotions while laying out issues without sugar-coating, he creates powerful reflections that get you thinking.

The delicate piano line that opens ‘Bleak’ creates a really open yet desolate feeling to the melody. It is like you are alone in an empty room and can feel the darkness closing in around you. Against the piano line, the guitar line washes over with a lazy haze. There is a lethargic feeling to the guitar line as it floats through the soundscape. The interplay between the piano and the guitar is beautiful and really touching as they lightly prod you toward the chorus. The tumble of sound that comes through on the chorus feels like it should lift your spirits, but there is something resting in it that continues the status quo.

The beautiful arrangement and interplay of the melody bolsters the power of Clarke’s vocals. From the first word, he brings a despondent sigh to the single as he considers how he doesn’t seem to be moving forward with life. There is a really sad feeling to the despondence of the track that we can all connect with. Through the verses, he brings swirling dark thoughts of being stuck and never feeling like you are getting to where you want to be. As the chorus rises from the delicate tones, Clarke’s vocals climb to match, but there is a touch of procrastination to everything. The lyrics of the chorus are packed with putting things off, but this changes through the second verse. There is an acceptance of responsibility for where he is and how the actions he takes don’t match the words. This all swirls back into the bleak feeling that settles on your shoulders and makes you want to give in to the lethargy you feel.

Through his single ‘Bleak’, Teddy Clarke brings the relatable feeling of procrastination, depression and the realisation that we are not where we want to be. The music is beautiful as it creates a desolate yet intimate soundscape where you can safely explore the feelings of the lyrics. Clarke’s vocal performance is amazing as he brings all the emotions of the track to amazing life.

Find out more about Teddy Clarke on his website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify.

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