2018 SXSW Showcase


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With One Big Nothing, her debut album, CLOVES demonstrates a musical assurance and maturity far beyond her years; an impressive progression from her acclaimed 2015 EP XIII, which landed her slots at the Coachella and Lollapalooza festivals and a track on the soundtrack to the 2016 film Me Before You. But as CLOVES started work on a full-length album—and toured extensively, including a run with Ivor Novello award-winning Michael Kiwanuka—her ambitions were changing, her palette expanding. “Bringing the House Down” was the first song CLOVES wrote that wasn’t a ballad. “After the EP being very acoustic, this was a shot of wanting the album to be something else, and figuring out how to translate that.” Challenging herself and advancing her music is what the Australian-born, London-based singer-songwriter has been doing for almost all of her life. Born Kaity Dunstan, she can’t remember a time before wanting to make music; when she was seven, her father setup a small area in their garage where she would pretend to perform for a crowd. She wrote her first song when she was 11, and began playing with her sister in Melbourne bars at age 13. “When I first started making music, I was obsessed with Carole King, Nina Simone, James Taylor, I was all about being a great songwriter,” she says. Another new territory for CLOVES was filming the music video for “Bringing the House Down” with legendary director Sophie Muller, known for her work with the likes of Beyonce, No Doubt, and Coldplay. The marathon recording of One Big Nothing could leave an artist feeling frustrated or uncertain, but CLOVES expresses a sense of completion, and an eagerness to apply the lessons she’s learned as she moves forward. “I have a love/hate relationship with making music. I love making music but sometimes hate how it makes me feel about myself, but I’m working on it everyday to not let that get the best of me,” she says. “I am extremely proud of this album and the work that’s been put into it. I’m ready to put my last three years of work out there and I’m ready for what’s next.”