Linzi Clark on her debut album All I Have Now

We catch up with rising Paisley talent Linzi Clark to discuss her debut album, All I Have Now

Feature by Maeve Hannigan | 02 Nov 2021
  • Linzi Clark

Sitting in a coffee shop, with Vengaboys blaring, singer-songwriter Linzi Clark assures us that Paisley is where it’s at. It’s clear that the Glasgow scene of raging mullets and brassy improvs is not the birthplace of her sound. Instead, she identifies with Paisley: a smaller pool of collaborative artists. “I think because my songwriting has been a bit of a journey – starting out at 19, going to gigs on my own and being intimidated by the whole industry," she says, "I was just aware of how much better it would be with a supportive group. When I went to university I found that and I felt so grateful that I had this safe place to explore who I am as an artist.”

Clark’s upcoming debut album, All I Have Now, takes a loving step away from the electro-pop of her duo DRIFT towards an intimate conversation with oneself. “Obviously, with DRIFT, I’ve felt proud of that, but I think because this album feels very much just me, I’ve never had that feeling of contentment." She continues: "It feels like, finally, this is what I wanted my songs to sound like and it’s strange not to feel embarrassed by them; it feels good to be unapologetic. It’s kind of sad because I’ve been doing this for maybe ten years now and I’m just at the point of feeling proud of it.” 

Through the process of songwriting, Clark inhabits the complex space between imagination and reality through delicate observations on love, identity and growth. “I love trying to describe the indescribable because it’s such a universal feeling that everyone has but is so hard to describe – I love the challenge of that," she says. "I don’t think I will ever run out of ways to write a love song.”

Clark's work does not seek to solve life’s equations but is evidence of the process. “I’m always looking to question and find the truth in things," she says. "The process is very personal – exploring things that are going on in my life at that moment. I find it hard sometimes to articulate myself as I’m quite rambly, so when it comes to songwriting, it feels like I can finally say what I’ve been wanting to say about things. It’s almost self-indulgent.” 

And what do you want to say? “I guess about inner processing and how that reflects life: relationships, personal identity, navigating your way through situations to do with being a woman. I was quite surprised at that. I always think of myself as being quite open. If anything I can’t help but say what I think a lot of the time. But I look back at the songs and that seems to be a theme, that inner conflict.” Clark is confident in energy but humble at heart. “I feel if I didn’t have songwriting, there would be a huge part of me that would be hidden away.” 

The DIY nature of All I Have Now is what connects Clark’s personal inklings to the outside space she so honestly occupies. Her songs are intimate diary entries, written late at night, waiting for the world to sleep. “There’s something about the stillness of [late at night]: most people being asleep, me not having to be anywhere," she says. "I think when I’m tired as well I seem to get into this state of being more open to ideas.” 

Finding this unrestricted process in songwriting is what Clark believes comes from a place of being confident in the unknown. Conversing with Regina Spektor melodies that tickle the mind and fleeting feelings that are rooted in Americana, Linzi Clark’s sound is honest. “Part of the whole learning journey of realising that the things I felt were holding me back by doing it on my own, were actually strengths of mine," she says. "My lack of technical skills meant that I had no structure at all to follow and I didn’t know what the rules were.”

By turning weaknesses into strengths, Clark has been able to hone the rawness of her material through an unrestricted manual and the technical touch of Paisley producer Bovine: “I found someone who was technically so gifted and talented but that wasn’t his style of working. He was very much all about the atmosphere of the song and the vibe, someone who understood what I wanted the feeling of the song to be like,” she says. 

With You, Balancing Act and The Kitchen are just a few of the released chapters in Clark’s memoir. It’s a universal process Clark gives dialect to, embracing what it is to be human. “I’ve never thought about how the reason I’m probably writing a lot of songs is probably so I can speak to myself,” she admits. And if your music could offer something to people? “If people just understood me – that would be enough.”

All I Have Now is self-released on 5 Nov; Linzi Clark plays The Hug and Pint, Glasgow, 30 Nov