Photo: Rachel Kiki
Bleak is a tale as old as time, a song of procrastination and flagging ambitions, a number that depicts your average Joe with bright and exciting dreams, tussling with the prospect of putting such pursuits into written form and evading the lulling, sinking snare of lethargy.
The song is well worth the listen, and despite its poignant underbelly, artist Teddy Clarke’s smooth lyrical flow and eloquent song writing works wonders in partnering the diverse range of instrumentals that the song holds.
Clarke is a sweet-sounding singer-songwriter with a message to tell. Raised in Hertfordshire and North London, the budding talent has captured the essence of soulful music and deftly infused it into his indie-pop tunes.
Piano influences feature heavily in Clarke’s music, with the chord progressions from the elegant instrument creating a soothing and melancholy foundation for Bleak, with dreamy strums of the electric guitar weaving around and adding to the track’s eclectic depth.
The first verse expresses regret over failing to meet self-expectations, before continuing the narrative in the chorus, with the salient lyrics ‘I feel bleak’ sitting atop a delicate arpeggio that swiftly resonates with the listener and perhaps stirs something from deep inside, prompting a need to leap over hurdles and make that brilliant but daunting leap in life.
The building momentum continues throughout, with more and more emphasis on the wheeze of the electric and the titular message: Teddy Clarke feels bleak.
Expressing the process behind the track, Clarke said, “I wrote Bleak to try and encompass the feeling I and I’m sure many others have felt particularly over the past couple of years. Bleak is all about not having achieved what you’d set out to do so you procrastinate and tell yourself you’ll do it tomorrow but then tomorrow comes and you feel the same way you did the day before.”
With just three official releases to his name, Clarke has achieved recognition through BBC introducing and Amazing Radio, with his first two songs “The World In Which They Play” and “Curtain Call” receiving heaps of praise for euphonic originality.
Clarke’s indie-pop style puts him right in the mix to ascend towards the top from the off. But the thriving genre in a thriving industry requires more than just nice vocals and professional production.
To succeed, that is, to really forge your way and garner supporters and acclaim, any aspiring artists need to etch a message into their brand and find a creative edge to create a schism between themselves and the swirling shark tank of talent.
Quite simply, the young singer encapsulates this. His songs are infectious, his lyrics have impact, his voice floats through different tones, and his creativity is brimming; each track is different to the last, but each remains intrinsically Teddy Clarke, ready to leap towards stardom.