The Clementines
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The Clementines

Kansas City, Missouri, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

Kansas City, Missouri, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Alternative Rock

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"Show recap: The Clementines' EP release show at VooDoo, 5.9.14"

With gilded anticipation, The Clementines took to the stage with a confidence and performance that lived up to the quality of their new album. With a bevy of new material, the group played for about an hour to a receptive crowd.



Guest violinist Kristin Chow sat in on a few songs, adding another powerful dynamic to a band that is most noted for the strength and soul of Nicole Springer’s voice. But since adding drummer Aaron Derington to the mix last fall, The Clementines have brought new elements to its overall sound. Tim Jenkins mostly played electric guitar for Friday’s show and switched to mandolin for a few songs, contributing flourishes to Springer’s voice as well as a necessary bite to the music. Travis Earnshaw’s bass lines provided a foundation and a bounce to each song.



For one of their final tunes, “Your History,” the band’s former drummer [and Katy Guillen & the Girls’ current drummer] Stephanie Williams guest starred while Derington moved over to keys—reminding us that this band is a far cry from its beginnings as an acoustic duo of Springer and Jenkins, and is further testament to its growth as musicians and performers. “I felt [our performance] was very inspired by all of the support there and truly was a celebration of completing an EP that we’re super proud of,” mentioned Springer. - The Deli Magazine


"Review: The Clementines – “Someday/Over” EP"

Self described as an “Americana” outfit, The Clementines keep their folky heart pounding on all five tracks of Someday/Over, their wonderful new EP. The band has a true knack for pop songs, keeping a bluesy vibe close behind.

The toe-tapping rhythm of “In Yesterday” goes hand in hand with the stellar vocals; the leads from Nicole Springer are a revelation. She has a tremendous range than can from calm coo to dynamic belt within a verse; “Someday Over” is a foot race where the guitars twist and turn, all the while Springer commands the pack. The ability to turn a quick one-eighty makes her presence a vital part to The Clementines sound. The rocker “Misery” and cool “Afraid” have the band branching out and expanding their style. “Only In The Darkness” is the devastating track on Someday/Over; the emotion in the song is overwhelmingly beautiful.

The Clementines have put together a rock solid record, full of heart. and they have the talent to back it up.

Favorite Tracks: “In Yesterday” & “Only In The Darkness”

by Nathan Cardiff - iheartlocalmusic.com


"The Clementines' Nicole Springer tries to find her eternal sunshine"

Nicole Springer is on edge. During an afternoon meeting at Westside Local to discuss the Clementines' upcoming EP, Someday/Over, Springer gingerly asks me if it's too early for hard alcohol.

I assure her that she is in safe and similar company. She orders a "much needed" vodka and Diet Coke. She admits that she's not comfortable being interviewed and laughs nervously as I place my recorder in front of her. Then again, it's a little surprising that Springer hasn't been the focus of more interviews before now.

Springer is petite. Wispy red curls frame her face. She talks with a built-in humility that is in direct opposition to her bombastic, show-halting vocal style. Although Springer admits to being "one of the most insecure people in the world," you'd never guess it from the way she sounds on record and fronting her band.

Springer started the Clementines in 2011 with Tim Jenkins (guitar and mandolin). For a time, the Clementines were an acoustic duo. But as Springer and Jenkins pieced together their sound, they found other players to fill in the spaces: bassist Travis Earnshaw and drummer Aaron Derington, replacing Stephanie Williams, who left in late 2013 to become the full-time drummer for Katy Guillen and the Girls.

Last May, the Clementines released a self-titled full-length that showcased the new lineup's catchy, powerful alt rock. The album hummed with promise, anchored by Springer's voice, a heavy jazz influence and the intuitive ease of Americana.

But Springer says the five songs on Someday/Over were more carefully constructed than the band's previous releases. Jangly, up-tempo tracks "In Yesterday" and "Afraid" are at odds with Springer's solemn reflections on the complications of romance. It's honest, square-shouldered writing. And if an open-diary format sounds too saccharine, don't worry: Jenkins is ever-ready with competent electric-guitar riffs.

The dichotomy of human relationships is a popular theme for Springer, who explains her fascination by recounting how she came to name her band: for Clementine, Kate Winslet's character in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Springer's favorite movie.

"I like the way it's told," Springer says of the film. "It's very unique and it's kind of sad — exactly how relationships are. People get tired of each other, and things end, and you don't always get a second chance. In the film, even though at the end they [the two lead characters] know that the relationship is probably not going to work, they want to try again. I think that's beautiful."

She goes on: "I don't want to be a depressing songwriter. Even if you're talking about losing love, the way you do it, you can have a different energy to it. And I think love is the greatest inspiration for any musician — having it or the loss of it. I don't think there's anything more important than that."

Springer pauses, laughs a little and shrugs her shoulders, seemingly embarrassed by her proclamation. "I'm a romantic," she says, half-apologizing.

A few nights earlier, at a practice session, she wailed into a microphone during the stirring and elegant "Misery." She snarled the verses and transitioned easily into gospelworthy range. (Springer started singing as a teenager in a church choir.) Even in the Clementines' cramped basement-level practice room, it's clear that Springer is a natural frontwoman.

"Any confidence I have is when I sing," Springer says. "It's the after-I'm-singing where I analyze and pick things apart: 'Was that good? Was that bad? Did everybody hate it? Why am I doing this?' I ask myself a million questions, but when I'm singing, when I'm in the heat of it, none of that matters."

Springer laughs again, but there is more bite to her tone. I ask if it's difficult to be so open with her songs in front of strangers when they are clearly precious and personal to her.

"My songs are like children — they're that important to me," she says. "I just want to protect them. Sometimes I miss just playing them for one or two people at my house and not having anyone else know about them. It's intimate, writing a song. There have been times when I wanted to quit so bad. I just could not face the vulnerability of writing a song and performing it for someone, and I've had to overcome a lot of that."

Even if Springer hasn't totally gotten past her insecurities, she does a solid enough job faking it onstage. In that respect, she says, there can be no compromise.

"Being the frontperson in the band, a lot rests on you," she says. "You're telling the story, you're interpreting the song for people. I sing my heart out, and sometimes I don't have a voice the next day, but I don't want to hold anything back. This is what I live for, and I may never ever be famous or make any money doing this, but if I'm going on that stage for 45 minutes, you better believe I'm going to give it everything I have — even if it's just for five people who aren't even looking at us." - The Pitch


"Other Performances"

The Clementines were performing at the Westport Saloon. The four-piece genre-hops from folk and country/roots to hard blues. Lead singer Nicole Springer has a voice that can handle it, whether she’s singing a tender ballad or unleashing a blues anthem. Her band can stir up a storm, too. - The Kansas City Star


"Daisy Rock Girl Guitars Welcomes Nicole Springer to its Artist Roster"

“Nicole does this amazing acoustic guitar playing which sounds very sweet and soothing, and then she comes out and sings with this beautiful southern, heartfelt, and emotional voice. We call that a double whammy of talent over here at Daisy Rock!” says Tish Ciravolo, President and Founder of Daisy Rock Girl Guitars. - Daisy Rock


"The Clementines – Concert Review – Uptown Theater Conspiracy Room – October 25, 2012"

It’s all about timing. Currently, it’s time to be a band with a woman up front, holding an acoustic guitar and killing it with her soothing tone and expansive vocal range. That is what The Clementines are doing and it’s working. I was fortunate enough to catch the free show put on by Alice 102 at the Conspiracy Room at the Uptown last Thursday. Nicole Springer, the lead singer of The Clementines, is the real deal. Her voice is incapable of offense and it leaves people feeling better off. The problems of the day just melt away. She accomplishes that which draws so many people to music – escape. The Clementines are a pleasant escape from your daily life.

“Play the Fool” is probably my favorite song by The Clementines. It’s not a disposable, hook-driven song that you will get sick of after two weeks. It’s one of those songs that you play when you get home from work to change your state of mind – for the better. It’s one of those songs you will listen to often for many years because it’s a quality song. “Bayou” is similar in the sense that it has the tendency to take you away. If you find yourself in need of an escape and have a few minutes to spare, I highly recommend looking up the Clementines and seeing what they can do for you. - KC Fan View


"Album review: The Clementines - The Clementines"

There’s another name and another band vying for a place in your record collections, one that has been working the circuit, playing bars and clubs from Lawrence to Columbia and all points in between, and with the release of their full-length self-titled debut, The Clementines are ready for their well-earned time in the spotlight.

The Clementines started as a duo in 2011 with founding members Nicole Springer and Tim Jenkins each playing acoustic guitars and using their time to hone their singing and songwriting chops. They added the rhythm section of Stephanie Williams and Travis Earnshaw the next year, a move that gave heft and [if I may use a technical term here] oomph to support the power of Springer’s mighty pipes. And while they may have a lead singer whose voice can turn walls into rubble at any given moment, Springer doesn’t simply lean on her internal volume control switch in an effort to overpower her listeners. In The Clementines you’ll hear a great deal of control and command, as the music calls for presentation that runs from pensive to melancholy to victorious to daring to outright sassy. She’s got all the tools, and like any good carpenter or mechanic, she knows which tools to use and when to use them. No song features a delivery that seems out of place, and no mood is falsely presented.

Any band with such a commanding presence at the front runs the risk of being overshadowed by that voice, or of being seen as “hangers-on” who are only along for the ride because of the talent of the lead singer, not because of their own abilities. There is no such worry with The Clementines, as this is truly a band with quality at all positions. Jenkins has adapted and enhanced his guitar playing to accommodate both duo and quartet arrangements; his skills have progressed greatly since I first saw the two-piece version of the band on the recordBar stage a couple years ago. Earnshaw lends a stalwart bass presence, never pushing his way into the spotlight, but never fully conceding to the twin-mostly-acoustic-guitar sounds which he augments in fine fashion. His ability to set a warm, comfortable foundation to the proceedings is crucial to the cohesiveness of the music. And Williams is simply described in the band’s bio as “bad-ass drummer”; that’s about as spot-on as it gets. The Clementines features a wide array of genres and influences—rock, soul, jazz, Americana, gospel, blues—and their rhythmic timekeeper doesn’t miss a beat (literally and figuratively) throughout, keeping lock-step with her bandmates at every turn. If playing music with such a dominant frontwoman is a challenge, then Jenkins, Earnshaw, and Williams are more than up to the task throughout the album’s fourteen-track playlist.

A few CliffsNotes-sized looks at some of those tracks:

“Rough Times” – The first single released by the band; Americana-rock sounds with an underlying jazz snarl. To say that acoustic bands can’t groove is ridiculous, and this track serves as Exhibit A of that argument.

“Soul, Mind, Role, Survive” – The one electrified song on the album, with an added punch that gives it a ‘90s alt-rock vibe. A great change of pace.

“Could Have Been” – A menacing slice of backwoods swamp-pop swathed in Southern-fried goodness. Undeniably catchy and hooky.

“Say” – The most intricate playing by all four members, showing off the instrumental skill sets that make this band a quadruple threat.

“Responsibility” – This may be my favorite track on the album; Springer’s delivery goes from delicately soft to passionately earnest without breaking stride.

“Sightless” – Acoustic rock doesn’t get any better than this, pure and simple. Maybe *this* is my favorite track?

“Should I” – A delicate arrangement that made me think Western madrigal, which I can’t explain but it just sounds like it fits. If you’re a fan of Calexico (and you should be), this is a track for you.

“Moved” – A textbook closing track musically and one of the most lyrically powerful, an expression of longing and love lost; a very courageous move on the part of the band to close with a song that does not offer the listener the prototypical “happily ever after” ending. Okay, THIS might be my favorite track.

We all like to see friends and neighbors succeed, and when they’re willing to bust their asses to make good things happen for themselves, it’s all the more rewarding. Bands like Making Movies, She’s A Keeper, and The Latenight Callers are proof that constant work, abundant publicity, and outright ability will get your music heard. The Clementines fit that bill, with an increasing number of shows over the past few months which have led to their self-titled album being a reality—and a reality which you should tune in to. As Springer sings in “Bayou”, the album’s opening track: “I leave it up to you when we're at the bayou / to renew my existence, to sanctify my consciousness.”

Existence renewed, consciousness sanctified—and efforts very much appreciated. - The Deli Magazine


"The Clementines are ripening"

"Springer is the driving force behind the Clementines, an acoustic duo that also features guitarist Tim Jenkins. The Clementines have a blues core, but an assortment of genres — folk, prog, gospel — seeps into their sound, which smacks a bit of Led Zeppelin III. Jenkins stays off to the side, playing muted bar chords and picking away during solos; Springer rattles feverishly at her guitar. The songs are satisfactory but played mostly in service of Springer's voice, which is huge and elastic, a robust force impervious to the hushed trappings of low turnouts."

"Springer has a tendency to indulge in dramatic, meandering vocal curlicues, which is forgivable — who could resist the temptation to show off a voice like hers?"

- The Pitch


Discography

2012

The Clementines self-titled EP

2013

The Clementines self-titled full length album


2014

The Clementines EP "Someday/Over"

Photos

Bio

The Clementines are 4 piece genre crossing Americana band out of Kansas City, MO. This passion filled group is comprised of captivating soulful female vocals, high energy guitar playing, and an intricate rhythm section. This award winning and critically acclaimed group offers a dynamic sound that moves from blues to folk and everything in between. 


Band Members