Imogen Clark is more road-hardened and wise than most performers twice her age, and with her new six track EP The Making Of Me - due for release later this year – the 25 year old has translated the whole of who she is on record for the first time.
Imogen says, Playing bar gigs as a solo female performer from the age of thirteen is character-building. Writing songs that can grab the attention of a roomful of indifferent patrons, delivering those songs with the charisma and stage presence to hold it, and navigating the mostly male world of pub gigging is a challenging task, not for the faint of heart.
“My whole career, I’ve felt beholden to other people’s ideas of who I am or what my music should be, people who still treat me like a little girl after twelve years of playing and writing.
Now I’m punching my way out of that box, not letting anyone else define me and embracing all of who I am and the kinds of music I love”.
The songs on The Making Of Me span the arena-ready opening rocker ‘My Own Worst Enemy’, a co-write with Alex Lahey (who also contributes synths and some guitar to the track), to defiant and chugging ‘Inside Out’, which superbly showcases Imogen’s soaring vocal and rolling guitar-driven ‘Push Me Down’, a volley at misogynist male musicians. Together with the sultry and atmospheric ‘Paper Boat’ and heartrending piano ballad title track, the six-song EP is a departure from everything Imogen has created before. Lead single ‘Found Me’ was written with Nashville musician and television star Clare Bowen (who also sings on the track) and her husband Brandon Robert Young, at the end of a US tour together last July.
With a broad range of influences across the musical spectrum – although with Bruce Springsteen and Taylor Swift as constant touchstones – the sonic references for the EP were wide and unrestricted. “Some days, we’d be referencing Prince or Weyes Blood, next it was Chris Isaak or Maggie Rogers.”
Recording in LA meant access to bonafide musical legends who lent their talents to the project. Rock’n’Roll Hall of Famers Benmont Tench (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) and Pete Thomas (Elvis Costello and the Attractions) infused the songs with their musicianship and set a tone early on in the sessions.
3BA Bigshow host PT spoke with Imogen about where and what she has been doing and where she wants to go in the music industry.