Saturday, December 09, 2006

Video: Client "Lights Go Out"

Client made an unexpected return in the US this week with the digital "Lights Go Out" single. Taken from their forthcoming 2007 album Heartland the track first appeared on the PopJustice CD to generally favorable reviews that often employ PopJustice-ish buzz words like "pop" and "amazing".

"Lights Go Out" is one of those woman-returning-to-a-former-lover-despite-knowing-she-will-end-up-hurt songs and has a great pop line offering to be "your guilty pleasure". Musically the song is sort of a mishmash of ideas that they have explored before borrowing the swinging beat of "Pornography" and the ominous string sound of "Radio" but without the clarity that defines that stronger material. Client have been working with Youth and Stephen Hague on the new album, but having bought the single from itunes there is no info attached to the music (note to itunes: if you're selling music downloads then have someone copy the liner notes because it's the right thing to do) but the song doesn't really have anything resembling the sonic signature of either producer.

The video captures the trio performing individually on rotating platforms with the added enhancement of some very cheap special effects that might have looked cool in a 60s tv show but are now standard issue extras in digital video editing programs. It's a no frills production that reflects the band's new diy status (more on that in a moment) that makes the cheap videos they made for mute look like epics. Sadly even no budget efforts from band's like Freezepop show more imagination while using the same effects.

: Client broke off their relationship with Toast Hawaii/Mute earlier this year citing a disinterest in the corporate nature of Mute as an arm of EMI and they are now planning to go it alone in their native UK and are working with various interested labels to spread their muisic across the world. Finding the single online was something of a shock because Client have been promoting their cover of Adam Ant's "Xerox Machine" (hear Ant's original here) as the album's first single and that has a February release scheduled on Metropolis Records in the US. Itunes lists this single being from the band's German distributor Out Of Line and Client's myspace and official news page has no information about "Lights Go Out". It's only a message buried on Client's forum that explains that the band aren't promoting the single because it's a Germany-exclusive release and that it is intended as Heartland's third single elsewhere. One almost gets the impression that Out Of Line overstepped their rights and that this single might be pulled from itunes rather quickly. This might be the stumbling baby steps of a self release strategy but someone got a Client single online and available as a download in the US. That's more than Mute pulled off in their two album's worth of releases with the band.


xolondon said...

Yeah Client. We know how I feel (and I think you too) about Mute, so eff them.

Daft Monk said...

I’m sure that Client have the Goldfrapp-scale potential for a much larger audience because they aren’t on the same level songwriting or production-wise, but Client were an odd fit for Mute given what else is on the label right now. I suspect that the route they are taking is the best one for them because they have a weekly club night, tour Europe and still aren’t getting much notice in the UK. At this point a Mute wouldn’t be doing anything new for them and what they’ve done hasn’t worked. Besides Client A is married to the Creation records guy so she can probably get a distribution deal worked out easier than most.
In defense of Mute, they do really well with groups that play to a niche audiences and have modest commercial expectations like The Knife. Mute has really done a good job getting them out there and finding them an audience but it’s not like they are going to be superstars and it’s that range the label excels at. Of course I could be wrong because Luke Slater, who is a textbook example of being a good fit for Mute, released three albums with them and he just made the jump to self-releasing with his own label too. Maybe something is in the air.

Daft Monk said...

Oops. Should been "don't have"

Eloise P said...

I disagree with the video comment.sarah looks like a star and the director made the video's for here and now and pornography....all video's do is spread the image of the tube is the new MTV and this video reflects the image that client are trying to portray really well... I also disagree with your point that Goldfrapp are better songwriters and producers...they are bland in comparison to Client ...and probably bankrupted mute with thier marketing spend!

Daft Monk said...

I still think that this particular video is boring. Perhaps it was just incomplete because there is a new version of the video that is a much better cut. I like this quite a bit more and wouldn’t have taken it to task for being amateurish.
Since this is a chance to update the post a bit the “Lights Go Out” EP was removed from US itunes shortly after I posted my last comments confirming my suspicion that it wasn’t supposed to be available.