Alien Sunset’ is a collection of home-recorded ‘demos’ from Max Clarke’s time living in Chicago and New York City. Each track has a sturdy, four- legged American quality but also contains a gentleness and sense of stolen privacy. The arrangements are dense and airy, decadent without sacrificing an ounce of effervescence. Something about this mini album looks back over time’s shoulder but it isn’t really ‘retro’ music, it just glitters in a way you don’t often hear these days.
This collection revolves around the obvious delight Max takes in singing his heart out, despite variegated agony. The lyrical work moves from simple, diary-like musings, self-consciousness on the dancefloor and general lust problems, to illuminated text. As a lyricist, Max draws upon the Romantics and Symbolists of the rock and roll poet tradition; ‘Song Of The Highest Tower’ was written the day Lou Reed died and is an adaptation of a poem from Rimbaud. The project itself, Cut Worms, borrows its striking and ambiguous imagery from the William Blake poem, ‘Proverbs From Hell’: The cut worm forgives the plow.