All the way from Dublin to Tokyo and beyond, Clarity is making their presence felt with their brand new EP In The Light of Lies Pt. 2. The quartet, with members from both Dublin, Ireland, and Tokyo, Japan, have created a worthy follow up to their debut EP In The Light of Lies Pt. 1, a four-track EP released in March of last year that really began to create a noticeable buzz with its genre-bending approach to alternative rock that incorporates the precision of progressive metal, the engrossment of post-rock, and those irresistible pop sensibilities that tie it all together.
With the positive momentum built by the release of Part 1, the band really buckled down for the follow-up, spending most of last year taking advantage of the unwanted time off of the road building on what they had started. The result is an even grander affair, with an emotive collection of big melodies and post-hardcore roots.
With In The Light of Lies Pt. 2 now out and the momentum building, we connected with Clarity frontman Andy Kavanagh for a track-by-track rundown of the EP, providing context and insight into this truly impressive piece of music.
1. “True Believer”
I sometimes worry that the lyrics to this track will get me into trouble as they can be easily misinterpreted. On our first EP, there was a track called ‘Love Is…’ that explored how easy it is to fall into a pattern of self-destructive behaviour and how desperately you have to claw to get out of a cycle like that. ‘True Believer’ is the other side of that coin. Temptation is only tempting because it’s fun, at least in the short term, so ‘True Believer’ is about being short-sighted and giving in to your darker impulses, knowing that you’ll have to pay for it later.
Musically, it started life as something completely different – darker, more akin to Crossfaith or early Enter Shikari. (Yuki) Maki, Kai (Kikuchi), and Riki (Ishidaira) had a very different take on it and it ended up much brighter and groove-based. I always say that you shouldn’t fight with the song, if it’s going in a certain direction you just have to go with it, and this was one of those occasions.
A running theme on this EP, and maybe the definitive theme of both EPs, is coming to terms with your past mistakes and accepting that simply existing gives you a certain kind of power, and you can and probably will, intentionally or not, use that power to hurt people at some point in your life. ‘Serenade’ is about being haunted by guilt and just wishing that someone would reassure you that everything is going to be ok, while at the same time knowing that you probably wouldn’t believe them anyway.
Kai originally made the demo for ‘Serenade’ a few years back, but we could never quite figure out what to do with it. When it came time to carve out EP number two, we dusted it off and tried one more time and it all just kind of clicked together. It’s probably the busiest song we’ve ever made, we spent a lot of time working out the dual guitar and bass parts so they could each shine while complementing each other. A lot of our songs follow a particular pattern structurally, but ‘Serenade’ breaks that by starting with the chorus. We wanted it to grab people right out the gate so hopefully, we achieved that. It’s also the first Clarity track to feature screams, courtesy of Kai.
3. “A Monster Calls”
Kind of a companion piece to ‘True Believer’ and a continuation from ‘Serenade,’ ‘A Monster Calls’ is about giving up on your previous self and committing to a reinvention, for better or worse. It’s not so much about being bad or being good so much as just recognizing that what you’re doing isn’t enough and you have to change something. And the change you’re looking for is most likely in the last place you want to look.
We tend to write djent-based stuff that can feel kind of complex, but for this one our goal was to stay simple and focus on groove. Riki also gets his moment at the mic in this one, screaming in the second pre-chorus.
4. “Good People”
The apex of this four-song journey, ‘Good People’ is about finding something worth breaking that self-destructive cycle for, and the fear that it might be too little too late. The lyrics kind of take you through the steps to truly accept and get over your past for the sake of your future. They start by outlining the past events, honestly, even if that’s painful, then move into admission that you’ve not dealt with it well, while the choruses are basically cries for help and promises to be better.
It’s probably the heaviest thing we’ve ever done, which is weird considering the original demo verged on pop-punk/emo. Kai took my ideas and arranged them into this low-end monster that rattles the bass in your speakers. Speaking of bass, Maki really brought his a-game on this one, especially in the final chorus.