Teddy Clarke tackles a generation plagued by corrupt politicians and media on his excellent debut EP False Prophets
Since emerging last year with his uniquely cinematic and thought-provoking sound, rising UK artist Teddy Clarke has made it something of a mission statement to be a voice for a disenfranchised youth that has been deceived at every turn by the media, politicians, and pretty much any manifestation of the powers that be that we have been presented with. The artist explores these thoughts and feelings on his stellar debut EP False Prophets, demonstrating his distinctive charisma and appeal in the process.
The EP opens with its title track ‘False Prophets’, a track that succinctly demonstrates his message in engaging and melodic fashion. Everything here from his forthright and blunt narrative of distrust and deception to the nuanced and thoughtful production from the artist’s producers and sole collaborators Analog & Digital makes for an emphatic statement to open up the release, articulating his style and its themes perfectly.
The track is followed by ‘Broken Design’, a more upbeat and robust track that continues to delve into similar themes lyrically while having a completely different feel sonically. The track feels wonderfully ambitious throughout, borrowing from a range of eclectic styles while maintaining the rousing modern edge that he has grown known for. The line “the future is a broken design” is one that hits hard throughout the track, hammering home the nihilism and lack of hope that is felt throughout a jaded generation.
The artist’s sound takes a more futuristic turn on ‘Sabotage Like Shakespeare’, with skittish and off-kilter synths meeting autotuned vocals as the artist delves deeper into introspective and thought-provoking territory. The more slow-burning and calculated nature of the sound allows the more existential and complex themes of the artists writing and lyrics to shine through, creating a feel and aesthetic that really stands out on the EP.
The EP delves into what almost feels like ballad territory on ‘Lighter Fluid’, with its gently intoxicating sound feeling entirely at odds with the destructive nature of its lyrics, showcasing the gorgeous dichotomy between the light and the dark that Teddy’s sound can often be. Lyrics about burning down a house while you’re inside it, whether literally or metaphorically, have most likely never felt more poignant and beautiful than here, providing a striking bit of imagery and a powerful message.
Grungy guitar riffs and more dark imagery adorn ‘Bible’, a track that wouldn’t have felt out of place as a more slow-paced and emotional cut on something like Nirvana’s 1993 album In Utero thanks to its underlying bleakness and the brooding tone of the guitars. When compared to the production style on ‘Sabotage Like Shakespeare’, the track really highlights the range and sense of scope that Teddy and his sound have, providing a more raw and authentic-feeling counterpart to the track’s futuristic, electronic style.
False Prophets closes out with ‘Partner In Those Lies’, a track that sees the artist crooning with conviction and heart as he reaffirms his stance against the corruption and insincerity that surrounds us on a day to day basis. The track has a really lush melodic and warm appeal stylistically, that once again feels entirely at odds with his adversarial and cutting lyrics, with the artist continuing to showcase a really rewarding sense of range and charm.
False Prophets is an EP that showcases an artist who has a truly varied sound and is more than willing to be adventurous and play around with it across the collection of tracks. While often wildly different in style and execution, the tracks are often tied together by their themes and the cutting social commentary that comes in the form of Teddy Clarke’s immersive and resonating lyrics. The artist is unapologetic in his writing and delivers his message with a sense of poise and unwavering deftness and honest that makes him a stellar voice for a generation that feels jilted and lied to, and this new EP is the perfect platform for him to get those messages across.