Clare Burson

Clare Burson


...If Lucinda Williams grew up on Yo La Tengo ballads instead of Hank Williams blues, she'd sound something like Clare Burson... who draws lightly on country and soul melodies to illuminate her dark, cloudy indie-rock supplications. - Roy Kasten, The Riverfront Times, 8/23/06


Of her musical objectives, singer-songwriter Clare Burson explains, “I’ve always leaned towards poetic simplicity and subtlety in my music—wanting to express as much as I can with the fewest possible words and musical flourishes.” This desire for melodic minimalism manifests itself into an effortless sound, filled with deceptively straightforward lyrics and unforced harmonies. As in her previous releases, Burson’s new album Thieves is a collection of heartbreaking love songs, characterized by evocative imagery and subtle metaphors.

Inspired by her relocation from Nashville to Brooklyn, Thieves reflects Burson’s newfound perspective on music, both in terms of her career and her artistry. Burson was able to let go of conventional ideas that define musical success and focus on the joy and comfort of writing and performing. She also relinquished some artistic control with Thieves, “letting the specifics of song selection, arrangement and instrumentation remain spontaneous and open for discussion.” The overall perspective for the new record was enhanced by Burson’s active following in New York City. “My audience always has a unique energy. It’s freeing to be in a city with so many different people engaged in such diverse projects, creating art without fear of limitations.”

In June 2006, Nashville-based co-producer Fognode (Sarah Siskind, Cortney Tidwell) joined the newly transplanted Burson in New York. “The decision to work with Fognode was a relatively easy one. We had worked together enough for us both to understand how much and where we could push the other musically.” The two set up shop in a Brooklyn brownstone, opening the windows, turning up Burson’s amp and unpacking suitcases full of recording gear.

A classically trained violinist, and later, conversant in Bluegrass, Celtic and Klezmer fiddle tunes, Burson began playing guitar while studying history at Brown University. After college and a year in Germany as a Fulbright Scholar, Burson spent two years in Boston before returning to Tennessee. Currently, Burson is an elementary school teacher at St. Ann’s in Brooklyn. In March of 2007, she was awarded a two-year Six Points fellowship, which, in addition to providing funding, has engaged Clare in a valuable artist development program involving mentorship and educational workshops.


1000 Miles

Written By: Clare Burson

the sun beats hot on the roof
the air stands still in my room
the city’s slow on the move today

so pour yourself a glass of something cold and sweet
water the flowers in the yard for me
listen to your records in the dark and think of us

1000 miles
don’t seem like much

six flights up from the ground
six flights up to heat-thick clouds
the thunder rolls and the rain comes down

open the windows and the doors
open the house up to the storm
hold her close and think of us

1000 miles
don’t seem like much

so here I am
and here I’ll be
six flights up
and waiting

by my window
i see car wheels turn on the road
down avenues and highways

Love Is Snow

Written By: Clare Burson

love is snow
a dream coming down
cold on your skin and dark on the ground
but i would give anything
anything at all

sure as the shore is a safe place to land
soft on your feet as it slips through your hands
but i would give anything

to hold on

boxes of photographs
and old reels of tape
far from forgotten, but lost to escape
and i would give anything

to hold on

life is falling and love is snow
let it come down
let it all go
but i would give anything
anything at all

Boat of Leaves

Written By: Clare Burson

i’m gonna send you down the river
on a boat made of leaves
and i’ll watch you from the harbor
i’ll watch you as it sinks

i’m gonna set me free

i’m gonna gather all the letters
that i wrote you from my bed
i’ll bury them at sundown
pretend i’ve buried us instead

free – i’m gonna set me free

no more safe retreats at midnight
no more make-believe till dawn
no more romance in the details
of the darkness i forgot

free – I’m gonna set me free
free – I’m gonna set me free

you were everything i wanted
there was nothing left at all
so i drank you in like water
i drank you in

free – i’m gonna set me free
free – i’m gonna set me free

i’m gonna send you down the river
on a boat made of leaves
and i’ll watch you from the harbor . . .


The In-Between 2003
Idaho EP 2005
Thieves 2007
tracks from each release can be found streaming on-line and receiving radio airplay

Set List

I usually perform one set at a show. They run from 45 minutes to an hour. A typical 45 minute set list:
Take Good Care
Like Other Men Do
You Got Me
Too Close
Boat of Leaves
These Boots are Made For Walkin' - cover song
Love is Snow
1000 Miles
Love Me In The Morning