It was back in late April 2020, just a couple of months into this ongoing global pandemic, when Toronto, ON singer-songwriter Shawn William Clarke released “Spectral Acoustics Vol 1.” Self-described as his “isolation album,” Shawn offered five new songs and released them initially on Bandcamp (with a cassette version available), before adding availability across other digital platforms for increased exposure in November.
In early March of this year, Shawn confidently repeated the exercise, dropping another seven tracks onto Bandcamp under the title of “Spectral Acoustics Vol 2: Pandemic Singles,” this time revisiting and remixing songs that he had previously recorded for other side-projects. The aggressive nature of Covid-19 may have dealt some stinging blows to many of our favorite musicians from the opening bell, but like his contemporaries, Shawn conditioned himself to absorb the hits, to survive several rounds, and to duke it out each and every day with this pesky inconvenience.
With the release of “Spectral Acoustics Vol 3” today, Shawn turns his focus back to “Will Moor,” the ambient-experimental album project released back in January 2020 with his good friend and co-collaborator David Gluck. Originally recorded back in 2016 at Curries Music in Gravenhurst, ON, the project derived from a mutual love of ambient music between these two individuals, and was created from scratch in the studio using as many mostly acoustic instruments that they could lay their hands on.
“We talked a lot about what we were listening to, and how we’d want to approach making this sort of music ourselves,” recalls Shawn. “We decided to spend a lot of time discussing it, then go in and create the music on site. I thought it worked very well. I think we were able to draw from each others strengths.”
Released previously in digital format, and with limited physical versions available, this latest installment of “Spectral Acoustics” offers extended versions of two tracks, and adds an unreleased track titled “Autumn Was Ours” to the collection. “The reason ‘Autumn Was Ours’ never made the cut was that David and I were hoping for a vinyl release, and had to make some tough decisions about which songs should go and which songs should be edited,” Shawn explains. “[This] was actually the first song we tracked during the recording, which helps set the pace and process for the rest of the sessions. This is the first time all tracks will appear on a physical release.”
Dubbed “The Complete Will Moor Sessions,” the album remains available exclusively through Bandcamp – known as one of the more artist-friendly resources – both as a digital download and/or a limited-edition cassette. “The resurgence of interest in cassettes over the last few years has been exciting for me, partially for nostalgic reasons, but as an artist, I like the format because it’s relatively cheap to produce,” offers Shawn. “I love vinyl, but it’s expensive and (especially now), takes forever to arrive. I’ve been toying with this idea of releasing some limited-edition merchandise for a while, and this series was a great way to try it out.”