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Back in 2011, not everyone was able to grasp the innovative music that Alex Clare was putting out, but then his famous song "Too Close" became the voice of the advertising campaign for Internet Explorer 9. Suddenly, everything changed. Commercial success shot him straight into the sky, topping charts all over the world and starting conversations amongst internet trolls. This past January, the English singer who now lives in Jerusalem released his latest record, Tail of Lions. It doesn't stray too far from the sound we love, as it features an eclectic blend of electronic and organic instruments. However we had the opportunity to hear it in a brand new way - fully stripped back with nothing but his pure vocals and acoustic guitar.

When Clare entered the Baeble office, there was nothing but smiles and positive energy, and calling him the nicest guy ever is not an exaggeration - he sincerely is. Apparently before arriving, he binge-ate a ton of pizza and he would not let us forget about it in between takes. He was open to everything, and after playing a few songs like "Open My Eyes" and "Surving Ain't Living" off the new album, he didn't totally cringe when we requested that he play "Too Close." That, in addition to his story and his music, is exactly why we love Alex Clare. Witness the endless charisma that he has to offer when the full session drops tomorrow.

Transcript

Check, check, check.
You don't have to walk away.
a beer.
Yeah.
It's called pizza.
I really want to be pizza sleeping right now but I'm channeling pizza into other things.
My name is Alex Clare.
I'm from London, England, Jerusalem, Israel, and now in New York.
It's been a lot to know Beyond my capacity for rational thought.
Won't you tell me? Just tell me.
There's so much to understand
But I'm just a simple man and I'm stuck in the sand.
Won't you help me? Just help me.
You know there's so much to take in And there ain't nothing going out
And I don't wanna make a scene.
Won't you tell me? Just tell me.
I would open my eyes if you would ask me to.
I would open my eyes if I thought it would do some good.
I would open my eyes if you would ask me to.
I would open my eyes if I thought it would do some good.
If I thought it would do some good.
How can I explain The statement that you made
Yes, it might be time to change.
Can you tell me? Just tell me.
You know crucial situations Have hard solutions.
Don't need a revolution again, Not again.
You know they don't really work Because someone has to fill the void
left behind when they're gone, When they're gone.
I would open my eyes if you would ask me to.
I would open my eyes if I thought it would do some good.
I would open my eyes if you would ask me to.
I would open my eyes if I thought it would do some good.
If I thought it would do some good.
If I thought it would do some good.
If I thought it would do some good.
Emmylou Harris said that the mark of a great song is if you can take it back to just a guitar and a vocal and it still sounds good.
So I think that is like the golden rule in writing a song.
If you can play with one instrument and one vocal and it sounds good you've got a song.
You've written a song.
But there's so much out there you can do musically in terms of production and when you're playing live, you know, when I play a live show, I try very much to build a crowd up with the electronic music because the set varies so much live.
And then usually for encores I come back and just do like an hour acoustic set which the crowd loves.
The crowd really usually... I try to get a singsong going, get everyone singing along.
But I wouldn't be able to get those songs out there in the first place unless I had the loud You know I'm not one to break promises.
I don't wanna hurt you but I need to breathe.
At the end of it all you're still my best friend.
Yet there's something inside that I need to release.
Which way is right? Which way is wrong? How do I say that I need to move on?
You know we're heading separate ways.
And it feels like I am just too close to love you.
There ain't nothing I can really say.
I can't lie no more.
I can't hide no more.
Got to be true to myself.
And it feels like I am just too close to love you
So I'll be on my way, yeah, So I'll be on my way.
You've given me more than I can return.
Yet there's, oh, so much that you deserve.
Nothing to say.
Nothing to do.
Nothing to give.
I must live without you.
You know we're heading separate ways.
And it feels like I am just too close to love you.
There ain't nothing that I can really say.
I can't lie no more.
I can't hide no more.
Got to be true to myself.
And it feels like I am just too close to love you
So I'll be on my way, yeah, So I'll be on my way, yeah,
So I'll be on my way.
And it feels like I am just too close to love you.
That song really changed my life in so many ways.
It got my music out to a whole new audience.
It meant that I could support myself financially and create my own record label and do things on my own without the sort of burden of having Major Lazer behind me, and really take my career to another level.
So I love that song.
I don't believe in like an albatros, so to speak, that you have this thing swinging around your neck forever.
I love it.
Kids where I live in London, kids from high school would like walk up to me and be like "Alex, I'm too close to you.
" And I'd be like "Yes, you are, but I'm so happy that you used that as a pun.
" You've given me more than I can return.
Six months later, everyone was using electronic sound waves and side chain on tracks and on records, but it wasn't really being done so much five years ago and I think it was kind of at the head of a new trend that, six months later, Taylor Swift was doing it, but at the time, it was pretty edgy I think and exciting to people.
I still try and fuse electronic elements in music with soulful vocal.
I can't really help the way I sing and write songs.
That's just me.
All right.
I'm Alex.
You knew that.
Well, you might not have unless you saw the last video then you would.
This is a song about not really being able to make ends meet and caving into the pressures of people around you to just, you know, live beyond your means without any significant paycheck and how so many people nowadays they're just surviving, you know? They're not really enjoying life or thriving.
They're too wrapped up in their consumerism.
So it's a song called "Surviving Ain't Living.
" Stuck in a rut you can't get out.
There's too much causing you doubt.
No cash, no job, no self-esteem.
The odd take-in and I give in.
Just surviving ain't living.
Stuck in a rut you can't get out.
There's too much causing you doubt.
No cash, no job, no self-esteem.
The odd take-in and I give in.
Just surviving ain't living.
Just surviving ain't.
Just surviving ain't living.
You know it feels like I'm, Oh, oh, oh, oh,
Feels like I'm falling.
You know it feels like I'm,
Oh, oh, oh, oh, Feels like I'm falling.
You know it feels like I'm, Oh, oh, oh, oh,
Feels like I'm falling.
You know it feels like I'm,
Oh, oh, oh, oh, Feels like I'm falling down.
Just surviving ain't living.
Just surviving ain't.
If you've got a head you should use it.
Opportunity, don't you lose it.
Climb up over walls Break down all the doors
When your future calls.
And don't let nothing hold you down,
Nothing hold you down.
Don't let nothing hold you down, no.
Stuck in a rut you can't get out.
There's too much causing you doubt.
No cash, no job, no self-esteem.
The odd take-in and I give in.
Just surviving ain't living.
Just surviving ain't.
Just surviving ain't living.
Just surviving ain't living.
Just surviving ain't.
Just surviving ain't living.
So the album's called "Tail of Lions.
" My last album, "Three Hearts," is very much like a very rose tinted glasses, very happy album about becoming a father.
Second album was more about the reality of becoming a father and being like "Oh, my gosh.
Now I have to work on my relationship.
I have to take care of a family.
Hard work really begins and you suddenly become very aware of other aspects of the world.
I would open my eyes.
I'm from London and I grew up right near to the River Thames and London has like water everywhere, lakes, the seasonal far away and I grew up playing around in boats.
I lived on a boat for a while. I recorded... I wrote my first album, "The Lateness of the Hour," in a boat and the opportunity arose with my friend Chris Hargreaves who's my bass player.
He also plays in Submotion Orchestra and a bunch of other UK acts.
After touring substantially for like the last five years, at the end I was just like "Let's make a record together.
" And he lives on a boat so I used to travel every day to Stratford in East London, sit on a boat, and write songs.
Even in the middle of a town which is where this boat really is, you're still apart from everything which is really conducive to good song writing because you get to focus and just chill and there's something very calming about water.
It takes an edge off, unless it's torrential or in a storm, then it's terrifying, but most of the time in like little English rivers, it's very nice.
Fell apart, it all fell apart except for this piece you left in my heart
And I hang on to it every day.
There's a beast in me.
He's fighting the man,
The man who's trying to do good, Trying to understand.
He can do his best to bring you back down.
And we're just chasing sparks.
We're just chasing sparks.
And we're just chasing sparks.
And we're just chasing sparks.
He said come to the garden, My sister, my wife,
And I'll get you the finest things in your life.
And you can get lost in the goodness of me.
Things got in the way where we understood
We failed to do the things we should.
Now we're struggling every day.
And we're just chasing sparks.
I'm just chasing sparks.
And we're just chasing sparks.
And we're just chasing sparks.
Give us so much of the things we must learn,
Gonna hold out just as long as I can.
Things he can teach us but so much more we can learn,
Gonna hold out just as long as I can.
I need to fall apart just to make my heart yearn,
Sometimes I fall apart.
Sometimes I fall apart.
Sometimes I fall apart.
Sometimes I fall apart.
And I'm just chasing sparks.
We're just chasing sparks.
And I'm just chasing sparks.
We're just chasing sparks.
Oh, I'm just chasing, just chasing sparks.
Oh, I'm just chasing, just chasing sparks.
And I'm just chasing sparks.
Thank you.
You know, with records I've written in the past, people have said that the music's helped them get over certain things, certain struggles, and barriers or things that are holding them back, or circumstances that have either made them happy or very sad, you know, they found a song in previous pieces of work that have helped them or they've found something in that they love and I just hope it's the same for this record.
No, you don't have to walk away.
You said you never would.
I never hear a word you say.

Artist Bio

Alexander George Clare better known as Alex Clare is a British singer-songwriter. Clare adopted his current stage name, Alex Clare, in 2010, replacing Alexander G. Muertos, a pseudonym he first used whilst still at school.

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Alex Clare

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