CLIQUE, “Top Field”

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Peering into the making of the Philly emo group’s sophomore LP.

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Amelia Pitcherella | April 4, 2016

“At first it was kind of a joke, like, let’s make it sound bad, but now it’s like, let’s be good at making it sound bad,” drummer Tom Anthony says to open out CLIQUE’s latest video. Fortunately for us, the Philadelphia four-piece are also really good at making it sound good, with a brand of emo that’s straightforward and honest, that moves smoothly and brightly to tackle heavy matters. Since their formation less than two years back they’ve played with the likes of Hop Along, Stove, and Solids, and their 2014 debut LP saw a reissue from Broken World Media. Now they’re gearing to release a second full-length, Burden Piece, next month.

This record was a joint effort, with all four members contributing to the writing, and the video for its first single, “Top Field”, proves that recording the new batch of songs was no less collaborative. They recorded at the Headroom (home to records by Joyce Manor and Alex G, among others) with bassist Travis Arterburn filling the role of producer, and the glimpse into the process that they offer us includes some hard work, some air guitar, some margarita mix and Wawa hoagies. Meanwhile, the song that the session produced is thematically heavy, an anti-cops anthem that hits in the gut. PJ Carroll’s voice is impassioned as he sings, “Make the piggy work for his paycheck,” a blast of fuzz and bright overlaid riffs backing him. It’s got the familiar half-gloomy feel that CLIQUE have warmed us up for—alternating brightness with grit—and it also feels strikingly mature, a good sign for what’s to come.

Burden Piece is due out May 27 on Topshelf Records.

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