”Standing where the church once was, praying I won’t wake up“ – that’s the first line of Roxanne Clifford’s first solo single as Patience, after Veronica Falls, who maybe were the best indie pop band of the last few years. On the cover of her record and in the video for the song she is standing on the beach of Santa Monica. And the video also points to another fact, the direction she is going with Patience. VHS quality, distorted images, 80s nostalgia. The first beat of the song may remind you of 80s The Cure or of Music for the Masses from Depeche Mode. One may be surprised or confused at first, but her voice has the same distinct quality as ever and takes you back to the times you were listening to Veronica Falls. You quickly feel home despite the fact that her overall sound has changed a lot. In the video some strangely dressed people gather around a cross in the distance. So is the song really about ”The Church“? Of course not – in the end it’s about love, not god: ”What will you do if you don’t have time? / Who will you be if you won’t be mine?“ she asks and makes clear: ”Take your hand from my hand / I’m not stupid, I’m blind“, and admits to her own weakness as well. So what will the future bring? Later on she repeats one line over and over again which may seem contradictory at first: ”Couldn’t get to sleep and couldn’t wake up“. In the end, most of us will know that feeling, either literally speaking or transferred to other areas of life, as in Clifford’s case, probably a relationship. The sound throughout is accompanied by a keyboard that could have been taken from The Cure’s Disintegration. And in the end it all makes sense, the whole song seems to be about disintegration, too. Also the disintegration of Veronica Falls (if it really is the case) that doesn’t seem to stop Roxanne Clifford from releasing great pop music. Her first two singles (the second one, ”The Pressure“ nearly is as good as ”The Church“) are a promise, which she seems to fulfill on her own now.
November 19, 2016