Clarence Clarity’s No Now feels less like the cry of an impatient child and more like a disavowal of the present moment. The fluidity of language allows the title to be both an act of petulance and a desire to step outside the bounds of time, and Clarity’s fractured, electronic aggression certainly leaves room for multiplicity. There’s philosophical arguments about self-denial sidled up next to hedonism, absurdist language and warped images that bring to mind the specific, the violent language of a work like Allen Ginsberg’s Howl, or the slippery signifiers of Salvador Dali’s Persistence of Memory. Few artists possess the required cultural awareness and creativity to dismantle our expectations like Clarity does, using a rupture in the lines between pop, R&B and electronic music as a gateway for his own bizarro world to seep in. Some artists want to break your heart; Clarity wants to microwave it. No hard feelings, though. No Now is body horror in musical form — disgust stripped of societal convention. Moments of pure bliss and elation exist within this kind of boundless freedom too, and the beautiful parts here might be just as incidental as the revolting ones. Clarity’s motives for destruction aren’t rooted in morality, after all, how can judgement exist without the present? Suspend your conscience and your gag reflex for a few hours and listen below.
No Now is out 3/3 via Bella Union.