UK & Europe
"Inventive, weighty pop music which dazzles, shimmers and glows exquisitely in the cold light of the day." - Gold Flake Paint
Brighton based musician Kristin McClement has lived many lives before finding herself on the shores of Southern England.
Born in South Africa, the daughter of a Classics teacher and a carburetor repairman, Kristin spent her early years travelling through both arid and tropical lands as her family looked for work. Kristin moved to England aged thirteen and it was around this time that she picked up her first nylon string guitar and began writing songs. She caught the attention of the local folk scene while studying Fine Art in Brighton and after a handful of early performances was eagerly adopted by The Willkommen Collective (The Leisure Society, Eyes & No Eyes, Sons of Noel & Adrian, etc).
Kristin’s music is born of two separate worlds; the vast shape shifting landscape of her childhood South Africa engraved with the melancholic romance of old England’s sacred woodland, rivers and valleys.
Whilst studying Kristin met cellist Becca Mears (Peggy Sue, The Mariner’s Children, Eyes & No Eyes) and drummer/percussionist Tom Heather (Rachael Dadd, Sons of Noel & Adrian, Eyes & No Eyes). As former art school friends the group helped develop Kristin’s sound and their unorthodox ideas and approaches are a core element of the album.
The Wild Grips refers to our wild nature and Kristin’s reaction to it as a songwriter. Hidden behind the glance of every stranger lies the struggle to make sense of these troubling times. “What can we pull from the rubble of our modern world?” she asks. Her songs invoke a sense that there must be something more meaningful beyond the windows of our offices, shopping centres and rented houses. The album reflects a mood of displacement that comes from being adrift in an unwelcoming world. But there is also a call for help and a reach for hope. The acceptance of our fragile nature and the cycles of life and death are recurring themes. So too is the animal urge, our primal desires and an exploration of how unrequited love can lead to a path of obsession. What ultimately holds The Wild Grips together is its perspective – that nature is all powerful yet we will forever seek to defy it.
Produced by Christian Hardy of The Leisure Society, The Wild Grips is a wide-eyed rendering of modern folk song where the acoustic and the electronic rub alongside. Whilst making the album, Kristin and the band were influenced as much by artists like PJ Harvey and Portishead as they were by the ‘pure’ sounds of Leonard Cohen/Nico and Nick Drake. Essentially a collection of personal ballads, the songs connect closest with an audience already familiar with the history of alternative folk music but will hopefully ignite a broader appeal thanks to their powerful and thoughtful delivery.
Kristin has played to audiences throughout the UK and Europe and currently performs with drummer and multi-instrumentalist Julian Owen (Bunty, Spacenoid).