The reverberating guitars and booming drums that open Clever Girls’ new single ‘Spark’ are quite the curveball as what follows is enticingly pensive and withdrawn. Buried beneath the murk, Diane Jean’s vocals are forlorn for the most part, sporadically piquing to a Snail Mail-like yelp in the rare moments where desperation overtakes dejection. There are times when the Vermont band unshackle, the shoegaze indebted chorus for example, but the charm of ‘Spark’ is in the vacuous tension that permeates it, like children huddled around an elder with a gift for storytelling, you stretch to hear Jean’s every word. “If you burn the house down, I’m the match that you had in your pocket” they sings towards the end, their words holding the door to their world entrancingly ajar but never throwing it wide open.
‘Spark’ is out now on Egghunt Records