In the early months of the pandemic, Wandering Boys banjo player Rob Jensen reached out to Matt Clark (of slowcore trio Pinebender and drone duo White/Light) with an invitation to jam. The music they made together planted the seeds for Clark’s new solo endeavor, Otherpeace, a loose group where he’s backed by Jensen (drums), Pinebender bandmate Stephen “the Kid” Howard (bass, electric guitar, drums), and a handful of other guests. The project’s forthcoming self-released debut, Capitalism Blues, charts the space between the introspective ambience of Clark’s back catalog and the rough-hewn nuance of relaxed roots and country. When the music dissolves those sounds into each other, it creates a soothing elixir: the melodies are droning and moody, and the ambient passages contain bits of twang like bubbles in amber. Clark’s guitar playing is animated but unfussy, and his gently soulful singing sometimes drops into a half whisper. Otherpeace is witty and thoughtful, like Clark’s down-to-earth personality, and those traits are underlined by subtle touches from his collaborators: Jensen, Howard, Scott Ligon (keyboards), Mike Burns (electric lap steel guitar), and Mark Greenberg (Mellotron). Otherpeace has booked a Hideout residency on the fourth Thursday of each month, and for the first night Clark will perform with Howard on electric and baritone guitars; their decades-long musical relationship should help them deepen the textures and emotions in the songs.
Otherpeace, The Keener Family, Official Claire, Thu 3/24, 9:30 PM, Hideout, $10, 1354 W. Wabansia, 21+