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Sebastian Clegg - Believe/Impact

Sebastian Clegg is an independent artist who recently dropped two new singles titled “Believe” and “Impact.” Clegg was born in the San Francisco Bay Area, then moved to Maine where he spent most of his childhood. During that time he gathered influences for his music that include a deep appreciation for nature and the music and poetry of the Civil Rights and Anti-War movements. He went on to study music at Columbia University, immersed himself in Beatnik poetry and studied composition at the Columbia Electronic Music Center. Clegg’s music has been described as “fun, but asks big questions and takes us somewhere.” He adds that “living life out in the city, we all deserve a place to go deeper, to disappear and to be whomever we want to be.” “Believe” has a fascinating opening, with low synth tones blending into the whoosh of a passing train which also sounds like kids playing. The echo-enhanced guitars are also arranged in an interesting way, with some guitars playing single notes while others slowly pick the chords. Clegg’s vocals are recorded so close up that you can hear the grit in his throat as he struggles with difficult memories. He’s an American but you’d be forgiven thinking he came from somewhere near the English isles. A female voice joins him for gentle harmonies. The chorus is pitched to the highest rafters, with dramatic stage musical vocals and louder (but still measured) slabs of guitar. This is the kind of music that is all-in from start to finish, and if you’re not ready for that kind of ride then kindly get out of way! (Conveniently the train comes back at the end to take you home!) “Impact” starts off with a four-chord guitar melody, played all by itself, then kicks into a herky-jerky rhythm not unlike Tom Waits. The drum programming sounds absolutely real in that you can even hear the sticks hitting themselves. While not exactly funk, Clegg has created a danceable groove with funk-like percussive strumming on the guitars. The middle section strips down to mostly just vocals, and the impression is of Clegg singing along with an entire room filled with copies of himself. Toward the end Clegg’s voice seems to channel the menace of Jim Morrison as he challenges us: “Say I’m wise, say I’m unwilling to compromise!” I’ll gladly say it! This song overall seems like a paean to radical self-sufficiency (like Burning Man?), with it’s repeated chorus of “The impact is something that you can’t stop / I hit the ground and then I bounce off.” Just two songs but so much ground covered! Check these out and see what this man has to offer!

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