The Claque are the trio of Girl Band guitarist Alan Duggan, Jet Setter and Postcard Versions guitarist Paddy Ormond and singer Kate Brady whose debut single Hush was released on streaming platforms on Spotify and Soundcloud last Thursday and is available for pre-order on 12” vinyl via Any Other City Records now, with the physical release coming on 26th April.
We caught up with Paddy who tells us that his collaboration with Alan has been on the cards for years as the pair have been friends since they were at school.
“For the past few years we’ve been trying to get something together and we had a few ideas about what we were wanted to go for but we never really got time. It was a pretty casual idea, a thing that we’d maybe do on the side.”
2017 saw the duo decide to make their sporadic sessions into a fully-fledged recording project, with the addition of Kate Brady on lead vocals.
“We’ve been friends with Kate for the last nine or ten years. I’ve always known she’s an incredible singer. I’ve done a few projects with her in the past and she has this really strong voice. I think the two of us were shooting a few names around but she was the main one where we were both said: “Oh, it would be unreal if we could do something” so after that we met up and pitched the idea and she was pretty keen to get on board.”
The Claque’s mission statement is “combining elements of each other’s tastes to make music that is both challenging and catchy”, a mission that they have accomplished on their debut single and b-side Stray where they marry Alan’s incomparably clipped, oscillating guitar sound with more synthetic, ethereal undertones and Kate’s smoky voice. Paddy cites influences as disparate as Beach House (“that kind of washy buzz”), Broadcast, Stereolab, Portishead and R’n’B on The Claque’s sound.
“It wasn’t necessarily that we wanted to directly emulate any of those groups but they definitely would’ve been in the sphere of what we were all talking about. We had a few different ideas of what we wanted to sound like or at the very least our guitar sound. I think the way I play is quite different to Alan, so I think we kind of had that as something in the forefront, the two different, distinctive voices of guitar and how they interact with each other. I guess we weren’t too concerned about it having to sound a particular way but we spent some time feeling out what the overlaps were; which we’re still doing.”
Hush was recorded by another familiar face on the Irish music scene; Daniel Fox, also of Girl Band whose work on Paddy Hanna’s ‘Frankly, I Mutate’ was as highly praised as the songs themselves. Paddy, who also played on that album, describes the Hush sessions as a “familiar and low-key fun thing”.
“We spent quite a lot of time ourselves preparing notes. Daniel actually said they were the most detailed notes he’d ever seen. We knew production wise what we wanted for the songs, we had reference points for all the sessions. We were really prepared for the session and I think Daniel was able to execute it because we were very detailed about it.”
Already, The Claque are causing a stir with a show at a yet to be revealed location set to happen on 27th April, a slot supporting Idles at Iveagh Gardens in July and also at August’s All Together Now festival. But what can we expect from a Claque live show?
“We’re putting that together at the moment! We’re workshopping it. We’ve found the people that we want to play with, it’s gonna be a solid couple of months of running our sets into the ground but that’s part of the fun of it I guess. We have all these shows so we have to go through it.”
Despite their notoriety at this early stage, Paddy has no misgivings about what lies ahead for The Claque in terms of both short-term and long-term goals.
“Release more singles, and eventually an album in the next couple of years. The short-term goal at the moment is just to play some decent shows and build up an organic following and build people’s interest and hit the ground running in 2020.”