by Andrew Frisicano


Over four years after the break up of The Unicorns, founding member of that band Alden Penner will release the debut of his new project, Clues. That record, also called Clues, will come out on Constellation Records on May 19th. Check out two tracks from the album above (with a previously posted demo) and let us know if you think it sounds at all like Unicorns/Islands.

The band, who played SF's Noise Pop '09 earlier this year, will tour North America in support of the new record. That tour includes a Wednesday, June 17th show at Santos Party House. Tickets for the NYC show are on sale. Hopefully they all make it here this time.

Full details on the new album, including track list and artwork, plus all tour dates, below...


This is the wondrous debut record from Clues. Co-founders Alden Penner and Brendan Reed have been quietly nurturing this project in Montreal since the demise of their respective bands, Unicorns and Les Angles Morts. As a member of the short-lived Unicorns, Penner's songwriting prowess was unveiled in a bright burst of mysterious and kaleidoscopic energy, in the form of a single full-length album (released in 2003) and countless live shows.

Penner's voice, guitar and unique lyrical vision now guide Clues, with humble authority, originality and intent. Wedded to Reed's superlative compositional and arranging acumen (and awesome drumming, among other instrumental skills) and abetted by multi-instrumentalists Ben Borden (Les Automates de Maxime de la Rochefoucauld), Lisa Gamble (Gambletron, Evangelista, Hrsta) and Nick Scribner (Chaotic Insurrection Ensemble), the band delivered sporadic and fantastic local performances through 2008. They then entered the Hotel2Tango studio (with Radwan Moumneh engineering) to lay down eleven songs in a feverish session during a Montreal winter deep freeze. The resulting album radiates a very special warmth and urgency, full of secrets, smiles, snarls and sing-a-longs.

This debut record yields one undeniable tune after another. It is one of those albums that coheres effortlessly in spite of the restless energy and distinct identity of each song - nothing ever really sounds or stays the same, but neither are there any forced spastics or facile schizophrenics. Forged from postpunk, no-wave and psych influences, Clues compose a rare breed of complex pop anthems that consistently inscribe their own perfect limits, without overreaching and without pandering. The overriding aesthetic avoids ornate decadence and stringent economy in equal measure. An authentic, unfussy and stirringly epic little sonic world unfolds: idiosyncratic and enigmatic, but exuberantly infectious and approachable.

Clues offer up a highly original, intensely committed and hugely satisfying definition of indie rock and we are genuinely thrilled to be shepherding it into world. [Constellation Records]

Clues Tracklist:
01 Haarp
02 Remember Severed Head
03 Approach The Throne
04 In The Dream
05 You Have My Eyes Now
06 Perfect Fit
07 Elope
08 Cave Mouth
09 Crows
10 Ledmonton
11 Lets Get Strong

Clues - 2009 Tour Dates
16-May-09 Montreal QC Ukranian Federation Hall w/ Elfin Saddle
21-May-09 Toronto ON Sneaky Dees
22-May-09 Chicago IL Schubas
23-May-09 Minneapolis MN Triple Rock Social Club
25-May-09 Winnipeg MB Pyramid Cabaret
26-May-09 Saskatoon SK Amigos
27-May-09 Calgary AB Marquee
28-May-09 Edmonton AB Brixx
30-May-09 Vancouver BC Biltmore Cabaret
31-May-09 Victoria BC Lucky Bar
1-Jun-09 Seattle WA Neumos
2-Jun-09 Portland OR Backspace
4-Jun-09 San Francisco CA Rickshaw Shop
5-Jun-09 Los Angeles CA Echo
6-Jun-09 Costa Mesa CA Detroit
9-Jun-09 Dallas TX The Loft
10-Jun-09 Austin TX The Independent
11-Jun-09 New Orleans LA One-Eyed Jacks
12-Jun-09 Atlanta GA Drunken Unicorn
15-Jun-09 Washington DC Rock N Roll Hotel
16-Jun-09 Philadelphia PA The Barbary
17-Jun-09 New York NY Santos Playhouse
18-Jun-09 Montreal QC La Sala Rossa w/ The Dead Science