Atlanta’s, CLAVVS is taking their Triphop to the next level. The Atlanta duo is gearing up to release their second full length album titled World Underwater. Following the release of their first album, halfblood, in March of this year, CLAVVS has not stopped releasing the ethereal and airy, yet hard hitting and attention grabbing tracks, that has the scene captivated.
After seeing CLAVVS open for Baio at Atlanta’s Terminal West, I, like most people who witness a CLAVVS show, was hooked. After getting to know the duo beyond their hypnotic soundscapes, I was inspired by their passion for nearly everything that they do.
Northern Transmissions: Do you want to give a little background of CLAVVS?
Amber Renne: We actually met at a party that Graham was throwing at his house. I didn’t even know him. My friend told me about it and I just kind of showed up after I got off work.
GM: We just started messing around in my home studio and it progressed from there.
NT: You guys released halfblood in a really untraditional way. You released the songs one at a time. Why did you guys decide to do it this way?
GM: Especially in 2016, we think that people are really inundated with so much music. It’s much easier to cut thru the noise with one song at a time instead of just dropping a whole body of work at once.
NT: Do you plan to do that for the new album?
GM: No, halfblood was only 7 songs. Since World Under Water is a full 10 songs, we’ll only do some singles. We’ve released 3 already and we plan to do at least 2 more but otherwise we’ll leave the rest for the actual album release.
AR: What’s cool about being independent is we get to make all of the executive decisions. Sometimes we just make them on a whim. We don’t really put a lot of rules on ourselves.
NT: When you were making the second album, did you look back on your experience making halfblood and use that to make the process more efficient?
AR: I feel like making World Underwater was a whole different experience. We kind of found our stride. Sometimes Graham will produce out a track and I’ll write lyrics to that song or other times I will have lyrics and bring that to Graham and it kind of builds up on that. Other times we write together in a room. For World Underwater, we did a lot more of writing together in a room and sort of building off of each other’s ideas. But, it really is a continuation of some of the ideas that we began exploring in halfblood. But, I think we take it further in this album. We’re branching out and experimenting more.
GM: As a body of work, it’s very focused. Where halfblood can feel like a collection of songs, World Underwater is more of a cohesive body of work.
NT: Lyrically and thematically, what were you going for in World Underwater?
AR: The central theme that I was working off of when writing was looking at the typically evil feminine archetypes likes sirens, serpents, and scenes like the Garden of Eden. I was actively trying to subvert those symbols and give them more power. It was a liberating lens to write thru.
GM: Production wise, I wanted to create this kind of seamless sound that transfers thru every song. I think we were able to hone in on the sound of hard beats with atmospheres and psychedelic soundscapes as a bed for Amber to sing to.
NT: Graham, I follow along with you on Facebook. It seems that you’ve really found a platform to voice your social and political beliefs.
GM: Me and Amber both have passions outside of music. We’re both very passionate about world affairs and politics. Not necessarily politics in the binary democratic and republican sense, but how politics can help people and shape our society. After the election this year, I was just like everyone else posting stuff to Facebook. But, instead of just blowing up everyone’s Facebook pages with my own perspective, I started a platform, especially in Atlanta, for progressive ideas. It’s a central place to provide information for local elections. It’s called “Progress ATL” and it’s a place for people who have progressive ideals, even outside the two party system.
AR: A lot of people love to say, “just shut up and sing,” or “artists shouldn’t have political allegiances or opinions,” and I couldn’t disagree more. First and foremost, artists are true expressions of humanity and of themselves. And to be an artist, by definition, is to have opinions and be the voice for people who can’t be heard. We both feel very called to speak the truth and stand up for people, all people, and be vocal about things that affect others. We just love people and want to help them.
GM: I know that I’m opinionated and I have stances on things. We’re not running for office. We don’t have to please everyone. If you like our music but don’t agree with our politics and that makes you dislike our music, I’m perfectly okay with that.
Clavvs’ sophomore album, World Underwater, comes out March 24th, 2017.
interview by Ashley Hoffman