No Leaf Clover

A Permanent Shadow - No Leaf Clover

Release 2024/03/15
"We are the human race, we never learn from our mistakes."

A Permanent Shadow's new album "No Leaf Clover" displays a bleak outlook on the affairs of this planet, past, present and future. CP Fletcher, the collective's mastermind and lyricist, delves deep into the analysis of relationships, most of them rotten or dysfunctional, both on micro and macro levels. Accounts of war and history repeating itself feature as much as stories about child abuse and the consequences of an early rise to fame (not CP's case, mind). General ennui, toxic relationships and suicidal tendencies are only but a few of the subject matters tackled on the third APS long-play.

Musically, "No Leaf Clover" sees the guitars pushed to the fore in the majority of the songs. While guitars have always been part of the APS sound, on past records "Humdrum" (2022) and "Songs Of Loss" (2019) their presence was less obvious. First single "Brother" is driven by a riff reminiscent of Canadian nineties alt rock heroes Tragically Hip, while the title track leans heavily on the guitar sound of bands like Queens of the Stoneage, partly inspired by producer Valentí Nieto's collaborations with QOTSA producer Alain Johannes. Nieto and keyboarder Albert Català are the main contributors to the new album which was recorded in Barcelona throughout 2023. Other standout tracks include second single "The Wait" characterized by an eighties feel not dissimilar to bands like Future Islands, as well as the Honky Tonk swagger of "Wonderkid", a song about Judy Garland and her shocking beginnings in the entertainment industry. CP is particularly fond of the songs "Little Ones" about famous predators who act above the law, and "I Hate Myself", which thematically is situated in the same ballpark as The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" where a general excitement for political change is crushed by the usual display of corruption, lies and abuse of power.

A Permanent Shadow is less of a band and more of a solo project under a band name as CP Fletcher calls the shots and works in a tight-knit environment of collaborators. Instrumental duties were handled by Nieto on strings, Català on keys and Fletcher himself on drums, percussion and drum programming. For this new venture APS have switched to a new visual collaborator, Jorge Rodríguez, a renowned documentary and video filmmaker who directed the videos for both singles off the album, adding a lightness of touch to the overall bleakness.

But all is not lost in the world of A Permanent Shadow. There's definitely some wit and humour in the lyrics, and glimpses of hope pop up here and there. Besides, A Permanent Shadow strongly believe that we are in charge of our own destiny. Closing song "Bubbles Of Humanity" leaves no doubt about that in its opening line: "If you are waiting for something to happen, you know that nothing's gonna happen at all."

Strange times, indeed.


02I Hate Myself
03The Wait
05No Leaf Clover
06Little Ones
08Money To Burn
10Help U
11Bubbles Of Humanity