Mercury Winner Benjamin Clementine confirmed for Coachella 201816 January 2017
Benjamin Clementine has been confirmed to appear at this year’s Coachella Festival, performing at the Californian festival on Friday April 13 and Friday April 20 alongside headliners Beyoncé, Eminem and The Weeknd. News of the festival appearance arises following an extensive EU and UK tour, which included a stop at London’s Brixton Academy in early December. The tour was praised throughout, with the likes of the Evening Standard (“The Mercury Prize winner brings a standout performance to Brixton Academy” *****), the Times (“On the strength of his unique concert, a lot of people will remember this awkward fish” ****), the Financial Times (“The leap of faith that his eccentricities demand is worth making” ****) and The Line Of Best Fit (“One can’t help but wonder what fascinating path he’ll wander down next”) celebrating Benjamin’s performances.
Late in 2017, Benjamin released the new video for the latest 6Music-supported single ‘Jupiter’, lifted from his critically acclaimed new album, I Tell A Fly out now through Behind / Virgin EMI. Filmed in New Mexico by Lola Schnabel (daughter of American painter/filmmaker Julian) the video captures Benjamin, replete with incongruous Pearly King jacket, shot in the otherworldly landscapes of Albuquerque. Speaking about ‘Jupiter’, which was informed by a US visa which described him as an ‘alien’, Clementine says; “Saying ‘Jupiter’ for me was like saying ‘Europa’, or ‘England’, or ‘Edmonton’. Wandering around in America, there was Trump and Clinton, there was the Orlando attack, the New Orleans attack – here I was thinking I was living in a safe place, but nothing was really safe anymore, or ever. It’s a poke at people being called aliens by some people, like we’re from another planet. I think we’re all forever aliens”.
Whereas At Least For Now looked inwards and backwards, I Tell A Fly (self-written, produced & recorded by Benjamin in Damon Albarn’s Studio 13) looks forwards and outwards; to a changing world, ancient struggles, and the individual response. ‘An alien of extraordinary abilities’ started it all: at first glance, a disarmingly unusual line issued as part of Benjamin’s American visa, but – quickly – the inspiration for a story-led album broadly exploring the concept of the alien, the migrant, the stranger, or the refugee. Throughout, ‘I Tell A Fly’ sees Benjamin use his personal history as a prism through which to view & make sense of the world around him, musically exploring unknown territories whilst maintaining a lifeblood which could not be mistaken for the work of anyone other than himself.
“It’s hard not to cheer this most singular and self-possessed of pop artists, one who positively exults in his uniqueness” **** Album Of The Week – The Independent
“Uniquely charged….follow Clementine’s muse and the pay-off is huge“ **** – Mojo
“It is a bravura performance, full of artistic risk and reward” **** FT
“An operatic odyssey” **** – Q Magazine
“Supremely confident as it is poetically singular, it’s evidence that BC’s vision will see him through the long haul” 8/10 Uncut
“Magic, soul and grace from one of the most interesting artists around” – NME
“Truly extraordinary” – Sunday Times Culture
“Like many of the great artists, he perpetually exudes an otherworldliness. With I Tell A Fly, Clementine proves his is indeed an artist of extraordinary ability” The Line of Best Fit
“An ambitious new album of avant-garde and politically engagé gothic chansons, which touch on everything from psychoanalysis to Syria. Out of this world in every sense.” – Mr Porter
“Two years after the Mercury win and with plenty on his mind, the 28 year old is far from lacking in fresh ideas” – Noisey