Liner Notes: Don't You Dare Mess Clare Maguire Around

The evolution of Clare Maguire is something to bear witness to as the British dame with the big big voice has been able to oscillate her sound with such nuanced precision that daring to look away is a foolish act in itself. Starting out as a brooding and dramatic baroque pop act, her inaugural set, 2011's Light After Dark had her racing through her own Gothic novel of romance and deception, as producer Fraser T Smith placed her in a haunting mix of orchestral tinged rock-pop that spooked and clutched the same tear-stained pillows as fellow love thwarted Brits like Florence & The Machine, and Smith's previous disciple, Adele.

While matching a soulful alto this side of Annie Lennox, Maguire unplugged and unwound herself as she stepped away from Light After Dark's glossy goth to a lo-fi willow weep as her self-titled EP, had her curled into covers of Ella Fitzgerald's "Black Coffee", Nina Simone's "Lilac Wine", and a beautifully fragile take on Joni Mitchell's "The Last Time I Saw Richard" with aplomb.

For round three, Don't Mess Me Around has Maguire testing a new style and this time she lands into a rollicking boil of blues soaked pop, that is still theatrically cutting, but minus the suds and strings of her earlier offerings. Her voice is still undeniable though, even more so as it dares to sound like a wounded blues woman of yore, thumbing at her 27 years of age. On the title track, Maguire bluntly claps back in a rush of soul spiked gospel, testing whoever should dare cross her.It gets even better as the excellent "Boomerang" whips in and pierces to bone with Maguire stomping into Janis Joplin territory, getting tangled up in a thicket of trappy hip-hop beats as stirs up a good ol' ruckus.

Maguire doesn't totally toss the melancholy aside as "Dream Big" is a inspiring, quotable piece of guitar-guided pop that recalls her last EP's vulnerable interior. But Maguire comes roaring back as she closes things out with the snarling "Sherlock", and it goes deep into the hollerin' backwoods of Victrola-era Blues, Maguire punctuating the record pops and crackles and grainy pictures of riotous crowds at ramshackle honky-tonks, with lyrical mentions of scrolling through her cheating mate's phone messages and texts to take the track out of 1955 into 2015.

Whether something borrowed or something new, or a little helpings of both, Clarie Maguire is on the move, and to keep up with her requires that you show up and show all the way out in the present. So don't mess Miss Maguire around --- just listen.

Don't Mess Me Around is available to purchase and download via iTunes, and to stream via YouTube and Spotify.

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