CLARK the band
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CLARK the band

Band Pop Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Terra Incognita review 2001"

…a beautifully crafted album that soars from frantic to sullen with poetic ease. (4 1/2 stars)”
Wes Smiderle on Clark the band’s debut CD, Terra Incognita - The Ottawa Citizen
- Ottawa Citizen

"CBC radio review of Terra Incognita"

“John Tielli has a passionate approach to singing...along with the angst there is a sense of humanity in his performance that is very compelling. The music soars and thunders along like the weather systems that criss-cross the country. Is this quintessentially Canadian music? It just may be.”
Matt Crosier - CBC Radio’s Bandwidth
nov. 2001

"review Terra Incognita"

“With time running out, Terra Incognita looks to be a dark-horse contender for Canadian debut of the year. (4 stars)”
Ryan Watson - Eye Weekly, Toronto
- Eye Weekly

"August 2005 review: CLARK the band - THe Woods"

On this sophomore album from Ottawa’s own Clark [the band], the indie-pop misfits mess around with pop and rock standards in just the right amounts and in just the right ways, so as not to lose the infectious hooks. Yet they cast a fresh, intriguing sense of instability that is as engaging as it is jolting. Singer John Tielli’s haunting, earnest vocals combined with the richly textured, fragile, arrangements make for intoxicating indie-pop akin in style and substance to indie heavyweights such as Arcade Fire, Apostle of Hustle and The Rheostatics.
Jennifer Tattersall on The Woods – the Ottawa X Press
- Ottawa X PRess

"Dec 1 2005 Review: CLark the band - The WOods"

Calgary Dec. 1 2005

Meet singer-songwriter John Tielli, the talented little brother of Martin (Rheostatics), who evidently shares the same knack for crafting stately pieces of sonic art. Guest stars include Jeremy Gara (The Arcade Fire), Andrew McCormack (Wooden Stars), Ryan Myrshall (Local Rabbits), Mike Dubue and Phil Bova (Hi Lo Trons).

From the rootsy start of the tumbling lead track on The Woods, Clark the Band casts a skeptical glance upon the hustle and bustle of urban life. Tielli’s earthy voice motions to a pastoral escapism where stargazing is best done through a windshield, and anxiety, not for trying, can’t be left in the rear-view mirror. Throughout their second release, Clark peppers a mostly hushed and intimate affair with feverish interludes and a constant barrage of unpredictable, brainy hooks. It’s a sweet surprise.

- FFWD Weekly (Calgary)

"22 November 2005, review of THe Woods"

22 November 2005,

Clark the Band, The Woods (Zunior) Rating: 8
Clark The Band is the core trio of John Tielli, Matt Gagnon and Andrew McCormack. However, with the additions of members of Arcade Fire, Wooden Stars and Local Rabbits, it's definitely a group effort with "Metropolis", eerily recalling the best days that Canadian institution The Rheostatics as it gains steam with its subtle "beep beep" throughout. Think of a roots-oriented version of Stars and you should get the picture. From there, the group nails "The Metal Boys" with the poppy panache of The New Pornographers. The lyrics are as ideal as the music, particularly on the mid-tempo flair of "Camera" and the deliciously infectious "Won't Give Up to Midnight". Tielli and crew also show their mastery on the rambunctious, boogie-brimming "Prayers for Shelter" as well as during the jerky, art rock of "Bite" that packs a lot of, er, bite.
— Jason MacNeil

"August 2005 review - the Woods"

"Ottawa's John Tielli has spearheaded something truly special with The Woods, the second record by his band, Clark. Though working in a pop framework, Tielli's songs are too eccentric and artistically unique to be categorized easily. Instead they resonate on an emotional plain with songs like "The Metal Boys" gnawing away at the sub-conscious and "Camera" eliciting dream-like scenes from the listener. With drummer Andrew McCormack (Wooden Stars) and bassist Matt Gagnon in tow, something like "The Psychiatric Ward" takes on a jagged edge.* Fans of the Rheostatics will be drawn to Tielli's voice and phrasing but make no mistake, there is more to Clark than a famous Canadian namesake. This is the kind o impassioned, sophisticated rock music that we need to hear more of and Clark [the band] can be credited for a stunning achievement with The Woods."

- Vish Khanna

- Exclaim! magazine

"August 24, 2005 review: The WOods"

Metro (Toronto/Ottawa), August 24, 2005
CLARK the band
The Woods
Four out of Five
"It's inevitable you'll be comparing the shaky vocal lilts of John Tielli, frontman for this Ottawa outfit, to his brother , Rheostatics singer-guitarist Martin TIelli. Just don't lump John's band in as merely junior Rheos. Clark the Band (they were originally just Clark, but didn't want to stir up confusion with other Clarks in the world) maintains a fairly straightforward pop-rock approach.

That doesn't mean this sophmore effort is any less challenging: sophisticated arrangements on rockers Prayers For Shelter, THe Psychiatric Ward and Not Max stray away from being anything remotely predictable. The softer string-laden You FLy Higher and The Animals And Us come across as progressive, but never pompous sounding. Besides, if your lyrical themes talk of isolation, internal chaos and external superficiality, it's better matched with complex, intelligent pop-rock."

- Ian Nathanson

- Metro

"August 24, 2005 article - THe Woods Rich With Sound"

The Ottawa Sun, August 24, 2005
CLARK the band
The Woods
(excerpt from article: "The Woods rich with sound")
"...Tielli and co.'s long-overdue sophomore album, The Woods, has arrived and is among the most sublime collection of brilliant, utterly unique pop music you're ever likely to hear."

- Allan Wigney

- The Ottawa Sun

"Nov. 2005 - Review: THe Woods"

Ottawa Sun, Nov. 2005
CLARK the band
The Woods
Four out of Five
"Ottawa's Clark the Band has crafted a sophomore album that simmers with emotion, melody and intelligence.

The band shifts with aplomb between delicate pop and the emotional tension of early XTC thanks to John Tielli's high singing voice -- he sounds much like his brother, Rheostatics guitarist Martin -- and the energy of bassist Matt Gagnon and a revolving cast of drummers: Philip Shaw Bova, Andy McCormack and Jeremy Gara. Tielli's guitar work similarly walks the tightrope between the atmospheric and 1960s power chord crunch.

It's a perfect accompaniment to the nervous unease, longing and melancholy conveyed by the impressionistic, cryptic lyrics."

- Andrew Carver
- Ottawa Sun


2001 - Terra Incognita LP
2005 - The Woods LP


Feeling a bit camera shy



CLARK the band makes music that refuses to get out of your head; that sticks to the roof of your mouth; that hits you in the heart. Listening to their second album, The Woods, is further evidence of the band’s signature catchiness, as their smartly crafted melodies and thoughtful sonic textures would even stick to TeflonÔ.

How then to adequately describe CLARK, both the band and its music, when clichés get in the way; when language still remains; when pigeons are obliged to fit in holes? Many music critics have tried to pin down the quartet’s sound, with generous comparisons to disparate rock icons Talking Heads and Neil Young and Crazy Horse. Likewise, journalists have resoundingly fêted CLARK’’s energetic live shows and their previous full-length record, 2001’s Terra Incognita: By Land, Sea and Air. Carefully steered by the charismatic and enigmatic John Tielli (ex-Toronto’s People From Earth), CLARK the band advances its building reputation as one of Canada’s premier underappreciated indie rocks acts with the eleven tracks included on The Woods.

The Woods is not a concept album in the conventional sense, though it is bound together by reoccurring themes of isolation and the common struggle with both internal chaos and external superficiality. The lead track, Metropolis, ponders life in an ever-urbanizing world; Prayers for Shelter is a chaotic plea for calm in the storm; single-in-waiting Won’t Give Up To Midnight coos with misplaced desire; and Camera even gives a shout-out to the capital city Tielli once called home.

Recorded and mixed over intermittent sessions in 2003/2004 at Ottawa’s Little Bullhorn Studios and Bova Sound, The Woods was produced by Tielli, with Philip S. Bova and Dave Draves, who is known for his production work with Howe Gelb, Kathleen Edwards, Julie Doiron, Jim Bryson, and Gentleman Reg, among others. Songwriter and lead singer/guitarist Tielli is joined by bassist Matt Gagnon, keyboardist Mike Dubue (Hi Lo Trons), and a host of drummers, including Phil Bova (Hi Lo Trons), Jeremy Gara (The Arcade Fire), Andrew McCormack (Wooden Stars), and Robin Buckley (Ben Gunning).

CLARK the band is now based in Toronto and includes John Tielli (vocals, guitar), Dan Neill (drums, vocals), Mike Overton (bass, vocals) and Valery Gore (keys, vocals).


· 2000 – Homemade self-titled debut EP in top 10 of all three local college radio stations.
· CBC’s Bandwidth names Clark artist of the week (Nov. 2000) and features a broadcast of a live concert. Clark’s full-length debut album, Terra Incognita, named disc of the week (Nov. 2001).
· The Ottawa Citizen listsTerra Incognita as one of the top pop/rock CDs of 2001.
· Feb. 2002 – Clark is one of three CBC Big Break contest winners (700+ bands applied).
· Oct. 2002 – Clark performs Fall Down on CBC’s ZED TV.
· 2005, 2006 – The Woods continues to receive exceptional critical acclaim.