Olney Clark: Olney Clark

Olney Clark: Olney Clark
How many Ph.D.s in algorithmic algebraic geometry are members of rock duos? My guess is not many, but Grant Olney breaks the mold in that way. Olney may seem like an unlikely rock star but, having two full length albums on Asian Man Records under his belt, he is fairly established. Olney Clark’s debut album is Grant Olney’s first album with partner, Barry DeBakey (aka Clark).
Grant Olney’s solo album’s trademark has always been somber folk tunes with lush arrangements. So perhaps it is no coincidence that Olney Clark’s debut album features somber folk tunes with lush arrangements. The song writing on the album reminds me most of Nick Drake. It is somber but it has a clean poppiness to it. The arrangements are reminiscent of the Beatles, heavy on strings like cello and violins.
The most Beatles-esque song on the album is the album’s first single, “Tea and Thunderstorms”. The track is a mid-tempo piano ballad that can not help but evoke memories of “Let It Be”. As a matter of fact, the main chord progression is only about one note off from being “Let It Be”. The track’s nasally vocals remind me of Beulah.
The album feels like something I would not really like because it too mid-tempo and rarely does it reach the point of being lively, but for the most part I found the album enjoyable. The arrangements are too pristine to overlook and the song writing is, if nothing else, solid. There are a select few songs that get too plodding but for the most part the album is a formidable debut album for the duo.
Rating: 6.7/10
MP3: Olney Clark “Tea and Thunderstorms”
Buy: bandcamp