“I am chasing paradise,” sings Birmingham singer-songwriter Clare Maguire on her forthcoming album opener, “Faded.” Much like the singer’s raw, majestic single, “Elizabeth Taylor,” this lustful, piano-driven cut is both a sonic and lyrical reflection of what to expect from Maguire’s sophomore LP, Stranger Things Have Happened, slated for release on May 27. It’s the first full-length project she’s created sober—five years since Maguire received alcoholism treatment after releasing her major label debut with Light After Dark, which was a big-budget effort aiming for the charts.
Now, the artist is shifting her approach toward making music with far more clarity and intent. The subtle flaws in her vocal delivery pierce with organic power, like HOPLESSNESS’ ANHONI, reinforcing the strength of humans—the importance of melodies and words. Her sparse cover of ZAYN’s Mind of Mine single, “It’s You,” highlights the beauty in her at-times vulnerable voice, while her gospel-tinged performance of “My Sweet Lord” at Burberry’s FW ’15 presentation showcases Maguire as a more dynamic powerhouse.
“At the time of writing [‘Faded’] I had been thinking a lot about my desires and cravings,” Maguire said. “I’d been thinking about why I allowed myself to lose control so completely. I thought of being in the haze, under the lights, eyes half shut, body like stone. Holding on with complete desperation for anything, to taste it, feel it, touch it, something, anything. Losing control, faded, searching.”
Watch the BULLETT premiere of Clare Maguire’s “Faded,” live at Studio XXVII: