Familiarising his eccentric spirit, Benjamin Clementine has produced a big-hearted record that swoops down to greet the listener. It is still unpredictable, but the force conducting ‘And I Have Been’ is benevolent—more like a guide than some epistemically distant energy. Clementine has a deep, timeless presence in his work. Here, he seems to connect history like a neat thread bound at each turn by elements of classical and folk. The composed domesticity in the arrangements is crosshatched by transcendental writing; it is a reminder that great lyricism injects the mundane with the magical. While choppy in structure, this is a dynamic release worthy of patience.
A favourite: ‘Last Movement of Hope’
‘And I Have Been’ is out now via Preserve Artists.