There’s much to enjoy about Josienne Clarke’s latest solo release, a haunting and mesmeric three-track offering that can only enhance the reputation of one of the brightest lights on the British folk scene.
Released on Rough Trade, Things I Didn’t Need has a wintry, melancholic feel. The title track sees Clarke strip it all back, with B-sides Season & Time and Never Lie offering great promise ahead of an expected full-length release later this year.
Clarke is best known for her work with Ben Walker, a relationship first forged on her first solo album, 2010’s One Light Is Gone.
They built an eclectic range of music together, earning Best Folk Duo at the Radio 2 Folk Awards and gaining critical acclaim for 2016’s joint release Overnight as well as Seedlings, released last year.
While the pair developed a grandiose style with elaborate arrangements and an orchestral feel, Clarke’s solo return has taken a much more sombre approach.
Stark and simple, Clarke retains that captivating darkness in her voice, those sparse strings striking sharply and clearly. It’s a definite turn from previous material, but Clarke has pulled it off before and she’s d0ne it again.