Songwriters Tom Silva, Nicole Sotelo team with some of the city’s best players on dark, romantic debut.
L-R: Tom Silva and Nicole Sotelo of Clara May. Photograph by Andreé Narvaez.
PLAY, POST & SHARE
“Hyderabad” is the first single from the upcoming Clara May album, Hush
[STREAM + WIDGET]: http://official.fm/tracks/215500
About Clara May
Clara May is Tom Silva, a Malaysian-born filmmaker, and Nicole Sotelo, a Harvard-trained theologian and author, who together write songs that are at once dark, romantic, reflective and emotional, but also come with a social message. The duo’s debut album Hush (recorded at Chicago’s legendary Rax Trax Studios by Phillip Amerson) explores themes rarely addressed by mainstream music such as the war in Iraq, the genocide in the Congo, colonialism, and cultural identity.
Race issues are addressed on the first single from Hush – “Hyderabad” (MP3). Silva wrote the multi-part song (think “Band On The Run” or “Bohemian Rhapsody”) in a historic Muslim city that is equal parts Indian and Persian. He explains that “The song is about standing in sacred spaces on the other side of the world – the mosques and the temples – and feeling the humanity of the people around me. The song is a call to return to our innocence and to realize we are a single race.”
Silva and Sotelo are joined by some of Chicago’s finest session players on Hush, helping to coalesce a sound made of many musical styles. The album finds the group exploring pure folk, grunge, pop, British post-punk, alt-country, romantic ballads and brooding guitar numbers. “We wanted to use our combined Indian, Malaysian, Mexican, Chilean, and European backgrounds to create a new kind of American sound,” says Sotelo.
Further adding to Hush’s cultural and music diversity is the classical guitar work of Barmey Ung, a Cambodian-American composer who has studied Flamenco guitar in Spain. On Hammond B3 Organ and keyboards is Marcus Smith, a professional church organist with an extensive background in liturgical, gospel and jazz. The album’s producer Amerson also plays lead guitar on Hush and can further be found performing with his hard-rock band, Bitterson. Rounding out the Hush band is Michael Sinclair on bass and drummer & percussionist, Nate Pusateri.
Both Silva and Sotelo also bring the experiences gained through their other personal projects to bear in Clara May. Silva’s work as a filmmaker was honored with the “Best Independent Film” award from Chicago Screen Magazine for his feature “The Quiet,” which premiered at the Art Institute of Chicago. Sotelo is leader at the nation’s largest church justice organization and writes and speaks nationally on issues of equality. She is also the author of “Women Healing from Abuse: Meditations for Finding Peace” (Paulist Press) and leads workshops and retreats for Christian women healing from abuse.
In keeping with Clara May’s dedication to social consciousness, the band will dedicate 10% of its profits to charity. Hush will be released on April 19th, 2011.
Tom Silva and Nicole Sotelo are available for interviews. Contact Josh Bloom at Fanatic for more information.
(S/R – 4/19/2011)
Request: FULL LP
01. Own That Feeling
03. Location of Culture
04. Good Morning
05. The Chosen
Clara May Links
Contact Josh Bloom at Fanatic Promotion, Inc.