Cautious Clay | still from video
Cautious Clay unpacks the complexities of love in a pre-V Day Free at Noon
“Love is just passion with a four-letter name,” sang Cautious Clay in today’s Free at Noon performance from his Brooklyn apartment.
Opening on “Dying in the Subtlety,” the song featuring that pointed lyric, the Ohio-born singer-songwriter’s five-song set cycled around the L-word — a perfect theme in advance of Valentine’s Day — but not exactly in the swoony, smitten, bubblegum kind of way. Instead, he offered a look at romance and its complexities, delivered via his resonant voice, an acoustic guitarist, and an occasional flute accompaniment.
Rendered as suave acoustic pop, Clay’s songs cut to the core while also giving us a beat and a melody to grove to, whether singing “I don’t wanna be in love” just before diving into a flute solo on “Joshua Tree,” or punctuating “Agreeable” with the lyric “Doing anything and everything possible / if you start a fire stop drop and roll.”
Cautious Clay’s full-length debut is expected later on this year; in the meantime, peruse his back catalog at his website, and watch today’s Free at Noon concert via NPR Music Live Sessions below.
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Dying in the Subtlety