Clare Means News
July 13, 2018 Clare's new album "Sidewalk Astronomy" for sale on iTunes
Amazing news as Clare's new album "Sidewalk Astronomy" initially ranks:
#1 on the iTunes charts in the Singer/Songwriter genre!
#66 on the iTunes charts for All Genres!
#12 on the Australian iTunes charts.
#20 on the UK iTunes charts.
It was an emotional and exciting night for Clare and her fans on all her social media sites! Everyone congratulated Clare and complimented her on such an amazing well deserved achievement! Everyone was so happy to see Clare's talent and hard work finally pay off with the justifications of the high rankings on iTunes' charts throughout the world! This was such an awesome history making milestone in her career!
So if you haven't done so already, purchase your copy of "Sidewalk Astronomy" on iTunes and also tell all your family, friends, and acquaintances to purchase their copy on iTunes, too. And if you're like most others, you'll also want to get a copy of the CD with Clare's amazing artwork on the cover and signed by Clare. You can get a copy of the CD from her website at www.claremeans.com. While your on her website, don't forget to get a t-shirt and check out all her other merchandise! Your support will help Clare to continue performing and creating her unique story-telling songs and amazing music.
Sidewalk Astronomy now on iTunes for pre-order until July 13, 2018
Album Review: Clare Means - 'Sidewalk Astronomy' - Skope
Link to review on skopemag.com
Copy of the review below. Thank you to Skope and Jedidiah Mason for the excellent review.
June 14, 2018
Clare Means - 'Sidewalk Astronomy'
Los Angele’s Clare Means stands out in an overcrowded indie music scene – her ability to deliver just what you need in the time you need it is both refreshing and magical. She hits all the emotions with effortless energy. Means, whose newest album Sidewalk Astronomy charts together starry-eyed reflective songs and emotional landscapes so soothing it’s like floating. Just when you think you’re at a lull, her tender vocals hug deep into your being.
The 11-track masterpiece is full of Americana-roots rich gems. She’s an amazing singer-songwriter. Means weaves hopelessness, loss of family, love and every-day life into delicious wordsmith stews. While others evoke pain and melancholy in their voices for such deep emotions, Means has such an empathetic voice it’s as if she’s nurturing you.
“Bobby,” the first song, is a poignant introduction. According to her bio, Means wrote the song after the death of her father. She yearned for a relationship, only to run out of time. She sings, “The last leaves of autumn are trembling on your vine.” This is just one example of Means’ exceptional lyrical mastery. Just as Henry David Thorough captured nature and its beauty, Means pains such a clear picture of those leaves you feel the leaves crumbling in your hands.
The song “Fiery One” shows a bit more feistiness, as does the up tempo standout “Master Manipulator Magnet.’ There’s something about these songs that showcase a different personality and depth to Means’ psyche. I loved the cheekiness to these tracks. Means has some spunk! In “Master Manipulator Magnet,” an extremely relatable song, I loved the chasing-like music bed. It sounded like horses escaping the herd.
Other standout tracks (let’s bee honest, I loved all of the tracks on Sidewalk Astronomy) are “Danger,” “Sheepocrisy,” and “Hollywood Zoo.” Means keeps you engaged and wondering how she will wickedly weave her words.
She plays a mean piano too. Just beautiful. Most of the songs have a strong guitar music bed. Her guitar work is also outstanding, but it’s just eloquent enough to feel like she’s holding back…giving her lyrics front and center attention. While her bio boasts her success as a street performer, I think at first I had a certain bias. She has both the wow factor and the ability to read people. She comes across as a pseudo hippie, but more multi-layered and immeasurably smart in her human experience assessment.
Kudos to her original style and presentation. She’s not showy in her songs, but she definitely has flare for words and the charisma to nab a large audience. Fans of Regina Spektor, Dolly Parton, The Pierces, Dixie Chicks, Arlo Guthrie and Malvina Reynolds will totally embrace Clare Means.
PRE-ORDER – https://claremeansmusic.com/preorder
Album Review: Clare Means releases LP - Indie Source
Link to review on The Indie Source website.
Copy of the review below. Thank you to The Indie Source and Anne Hollister for the awesome review!
Clare Means releases LP
’So often singer-songwriters are shuffled to the constraining walls of a coffee shop, or in Clare Means’ case, the boardwalks and sidewalks of Los Angeles. The background noise, the reflective atmosphere of both either capture listeners’ attentions or artists can be come just another voice, just another face in the crowd. Clare Means a remarkable singer-songwriter and her collection of genre crossing songs in Sidewalk Astronomy proves she’s not only watching her passer-byers, she’s onto something.
With her subtle serenading and lyrical mastery, Means words blend like paintbrushes to a canvass. Her voice reminds me a bit of Joni Mitchell, but has the modern appeal and depth of say, Tori Amos. (She’s missing the angst of Tori Amos, but she definitely has the talent.) Still, in songs like the title track, and “Bobby” she moves through the songs like a treasured friend sharing her diary with you over a cup of coffee.
She breathes life into “Bobby,” a song she said in a release that she wrote after the death of her father. Her lyrics and her vocal prowess give you the sense that she’s very sad, but at the same time, she’s dealing with her loss by throwing out the waste in her life…no longer clinging to regrets. Strangely, I listened to this song during the week of marking 50 years since Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination. The other Bobby taught us so much in times of grief and death that I found it fitting and remarkable to listen to Means’ “Bobby.” His words and her words still resonate.
Among the other standout songs on Sidewalk Astronomy, include “Master Manipulator Magnet” and the brooding “Hollywood Zoo.” She picks up the tempo and quick-whips the listener down a more pop rock path. “Master Manipulator Magnet” made me laugh – who here hasn’t had a string of that certain person in their life that time and time again gets what they want and you get stuck footing the bill? Sigh. To hear these songs live, in the context of Means as a sidewalk artist, would be impressive. She without a doubt would stop foot traffic.
“Fiery One” also had me hanging onto her every word. I loved the lyrics, “You offer your hand and I give you my fist…I’m not that devil dancing with you.” This song reminded me a bit of The Dixie Chicks minus the twang.
I also enjoyed “Danger” and “Always With Me.” She gracefully tickles the piano. Her voice soothes at the same time, she sounds like the smartest person in the room. What breathe of fresh air her voice is!
Clare Means gets high marks and regards for her simplistic, yet fits-like-a-glove and reads like your favorite book, 11-track Sidewalk Astronomy. Stars are in her future, and at the very least, like Libra, Means balances beautiful lyrics with cascading pianos and memorable guitar riffs. Her perspective and her artistry are inspiring. Her voice is endearing.
Album Review: Clare Means releases 'Guts' single. - NO DEPRESSION
Link to the review on NoDepression.com website.
Copy of the review below. Thank you to No Depression and Mindy McCall for the excellent review.
Clare Means releases 'Guts' single
As a music journalist I’ve had the privilege of listening to a lot of really talented artists in the past. I’ve encountered songwriters who could compose ballads that had the ability to emotionally move entire concert halls with one strike of the piano keys, and I’ve known singers that could belt out the most incredible harmonies you’ve ever heard in total spontaneity. It’s not often that I feel really stirred by emerging acts, but occasionally I hear something breathtaking, and I instantly fall in love with the sound. These artists are impossible not to gravitate towards; they capture our hearts and appeal to an unspoken sensibility that all of us carry deep within our souls. With that said, I feel like I discovered a genuine treasure recently in California’s Clare Means, a humble singer/songwriter with a reputation that’s as big as her home state. Based out of the Los Angeles area, Means’ new album, Sidewalk Astronomy, is unquestionably the most enigmatic, wildly original and provocative album I have heard all year (and possibly in the last half decade). Led by the prolific single “Guts, ”Sidewalk Astronomy is the kind of record that basks in its raw, independent packaging and fearless experimentalism. Not since I saw Justin Vernon some 15 years ago in a nameless town in the Midwest have I been so affected by an aspiring musician’s work.
“Guts” is an evocative, formidable sonnet that mourns the loss of a lover and the memories that were created with them, and exhibits Means’ most mature songwriting in her career to date. The track features a powerful string arrangement following the chorus that evenly compliments Means’ gentle, bittersweet lamenting with an energy that gives me the chills every time I listen to it. She takes us to a heart wrenching scene; two devoted best friends whose chemistry is unmistakable and can light up the darkest of rooms. A single heart they share, nevertheless to be split back into two pieces, with the former going off in this direction and the latter going off in another. However, the love that they was shared, the fireworks, for whatever torturous reason lingers and stays forever, even if the passion and the connection ultimately has faded away. The descriptive sonic textures of the track and the rich, ethereal manner in which she chooses to present them makes us feel like we’re front row to a full symphony orchestra embodied in a lone woman with a guitar.
You could definitely say that her prose is Dylan-esque, but Clare Means is much less irreverent in her method of expression. There’s a unique authenticity, an almost earthiness to her sound that is consistent throughout her entire catalogue. Her alluring, almost magnetic urban drawl is like as hypnotizing as a steadily swinging pendulum, and after first listening to Sidewalk Astronomy and “Guts” in particular, I found that I couldn’t get enough of her intoxicating melodies. This is pure gold if I’ve ever heard it, and you’d be hard pressed to find anything released in 2018 thus far that has the chops to stand up to what Means has produced in this elegant masterpiece.
YOU TUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8g2ps3zp5fg
by Mindy McCall
May 19, 2018
Album Review: Clare Means - "Hollywood Zoo" - NO DEPRESSION
Link to the review on NoDepression.com website.
Copy of the review below. Thank you to No Depression and Mindy McCall for the excellent review.
Clare Means – “Hollywood Zoo”
With a spellbinding fusion of brooding vocals, surreal lyrics and a style of folk-rock that owes as much to vintage Neil Young as it does to post-punk, singer/songwriter Clare Means elegantly soundtracks the seedy city streets of Los Angeles with her new single, “Hollywood Zoo,” from the upcoming album Sidewalk Astronomy, available everywhere this June. Longtime fans of Means are very familiar with the intimate nature of her lyrics and the passion in her delivery. For over a decade she has acted as a stable lynchpin in the L.A. busking community, and her intimate street performances on the Santa Monica Pier and Promenade have made her somewhat of a legend in SoCal. Now, amid critical acclaim for her last single “Danger,” she looks to take the rest of the country by storm with her fourth studio album.
“Hollywood Zoo,” is an epic anthem for the burgeoning #MeToo and #Timesup movements, literally walking us through the harsh reality of the toxicity within the entertainment industry. Opening with spoken headlines and sound bites from the flood of national news stories that have come in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, the soft picking of an acoustic guitar and a carefully woven string arrangement suddenly break into the white noise. Means’ voice joins the mix, and she starts to paint a disturbing picture of predatory manipulation; the promise of stardom if one does the right things and plays the right games. No matter the sacrifice of dignity or self-worth, the possibility for reward seems endless. We start to see Hollywood through the lens of Means’ lyrics; a giant zoo filled with various attractions, all penned in and deprived, made to perform and entertain us under the whip of their cruel keepers. The tempo picks up as we dive into the chorus, and the urgency in our singer seems to reach a fever pitch in synchronicity with the band.
Indeed, the stark contrast of its gorgeous beaches made of golden sand and the twisted greed that dominates the energy around Dreamland’s film sets and recording studios is beyond jarring. Were it not for Clare Mean’s infectious grooves and charmingly melodic voice, “Hollywood Zoo” might be too dark for some listeners’ palates; what is inarguable though, is the need for its subject matter to be thoroughly examined and discussed. As a society, we place an enormous burden on our artists in conveying the collective emotions we experience, especially in times of strife and heartache. Means not only champions the feminist movement in “Hollywood Zoo,” but defiantly resists against any form of sexual abuse and domination with her brilliant verse.
In 2018 and throughout the course of modern history, it has been artists like Clare Means who continue to inspire hope and action through their craft, regardless of the political and social climate around them. If this incredible new single is just a taste of what we can expect from the full-length Street Astronomy, then I think it’s safe to say we have an early frontrunner for not only the best album of the year, but also the most thought-provoking.
by Mindy McCall
May 5, 2018
Clare's song "Notions of Love" on TV Series
Article: How a Singer/Songwriter Doubled Her Income From Periscope. - Digital Music News
Link to the article on DigitalMusicNews.com
Copy of the article below. Thank you Digital Music News and Ari Herstand for the excellent article.
How a Singer/Songwriter Doubled Her Income From Periscope Ari Herstand
August 3, 2016
Los Angeles based Clare Means has been street performing for the past 8 years on the Santa Monica Pier and Promenade. As two of the biggest tourist traps in LA, street performers can earn a substantial amount. Some average $100 an hour or more. And some average $5 an hour. It all depends on the the location, the crowd, the weather, the performer and their fellow street performing competition.
Clare has been a full time musician for the better part of 8 years and has supported herself (and paid her Santa Monica rent) primarily with her street performing sets.
Last September, she decided to prop her phone up against her tip jar and Periscope her street performances. She included a link to her website (for CD purchases) and a PayPal.me link for tips in her Periscope bio. Initially, she only had a few people tuning in for her scopes for the first few months. But because she scoped every street performance and she street performed nearly every day, she built up some regular followers. And they started tipping and buying her CDs. And because PayPal.me enabled people to tip whatever they wanted, some tipped her $50. Some tipped $200.
By the end of December, Clare Means had built up about 1,000 Periscope followers. She started Periscoping from home in addition to the street, taking requests and giving even more interaction to her new Periscope “friends” – as she likes to call them.
And then this past January, the stars started to align. A fairly big Periscoper, @YoPickles, shared Clare’s scope to her 20,000 followers. @MitchOates happened to be walking the Santa Monica Pier and stumbled upon Clare. He Periscoped her and shared her scope with his 25,000 followers. @LennyJacobson also shared Clare’s scopes around this time to his 30,000 followers and Periscope featured Clare on the homepage List a few times.
As of today, Clare Means has over 34,000 followers – gaining thousands more each month.But her followers are so much more than just a number. The reason Clare refers to them as her Periscope friends is because she interacts with them directly during her scopes and she has gotten to know quite a few of the regulars.
And more than that, her fans have gotten to know each other from tuning in so frequently and chatting during the scopes. They even formed their own fan club and call themselves “ClareBears” – in part because Clare eats gummy bears during her street performing set breaks.
“They’re friends with each other. Regulars talk amongst each other. Scopes are almost like a chat room”
One fan sent her a 17 pound bag of gummy bears. Another fan created a blonde voodoo doll (one of her songs is called “Voodoo Doll.” Another fan sent her a sweatshirt she made with a voodoo doll attached to the zipper.
And some nights when she has a really bad street performing experience, her ClareBears on Periscope step up.
“One time I had a really shitty night on the Promenade. A loud guy set up next to me. I made $200 in tips on Periscope and I didn’t have that many people in my scope. They wanted to make up for the bad experience,” Clare told me over the phone.
Whereas on the street, people typically drop in a dollar, or five if they’re feeling generous. On Periscope, people tip much larger amounts because it’s very easy to type in a higher number. No cash necessary. Someone tipped her $700 last month to help her buy a new guitar which had blown over on her stand during one of her set breaks on the street. And many of her regulars have bought her 3 CD for $25 package from her website (another direct link in her Periscope bio).
The ClareBears even set up a fan website, Claresbears.com, to help fund Clare’s new guitar. There’s a photo page, a video page, and event info for a meetup Clare is participating in on October 8th in Santa Monica.
A couple that heard her on the pier while visiting Santa Monica, when they returned home started watching all of her Periscopes and then flew her out to play their wedding.
Last month she went to Nashville and busked a bit. She stopped by Third Man Records and hopped in the recording booth where one can record a performance straight to acetate. Third Man charges musicians $20 per song in the booth and the musician walks away with the acetate record of their performance. In the booth, Clare Periscoped her performance and asked her Periscope audience how much she should charge for this rare record. Someone suggested $100 and others concurred. A couple people said they’d pay $250 if she played their request (and sent them the record of their song). In just the hour she was in the booth, she made about $1,400 and sent out 10 records to the fans who happened to tune in.
I asked Clare what advice she’d give to musicians who wanted to get started on Periscope. She said consistency is very important. Early on, you may only get a few people here and there tuning in, but if you interact with them, respect them and give an entertaining experience they’ll follow you and come back.
Always thank people for sharing and for tipping. Say hi to the regulars. Take requests. Try to interact as much as possible. She recommends to try different songs, different settings and maybe different instruments to mix it up.
She improvs songs occasionally during her home scopes and takes topic requests. One of her Christmas songs actually came out of one of these improv sessions. She mentioned that she encourages her viewers to share her scopes and invite their friends. And people do it.
The quality of the fan is more important than the quantity
Clare encourages musicians to not worry about the number of followers they have.
“You can still make good money even if you have less than 1,000 followers”
Now, she averages about 6,000 total viewers per scope. She usually busks for 2-4 hours and scopes the entire time, so she has a couple hundred people tuning in at any given moment. However, while we were on the phone, she checked in to last night’s stats and saw she had 10,400 people tune in over the course of the 4 hour scope.
The way to make it as a musician in the new music business requires getting creative with the tools available. There is no one way to make it as a musician anymore. Anyone who tells you that you MUST put all your efforts into YouTube is flat out wrong and doesn’t know what they’re talking about. They are 5 years behind the curve. Yeah, YouTube is important and every musician should have some sort of presence, but Clare realized that her efforts were better spent on Periscope, not YouTube. DJ Khaled became famous on Snapchat. Shawn Mendes became famous from Vine.
But, as Clare, and thousands of other working musicians have learned, it’s not about becoming famous. Sure, everyone would like to grow their fanbase, but many DIY musicians are making comfortable livings doing what they love by getting creative with their monetization efforts.
You can bitch about Spotify royalties until you’re blue in the face or you can get creative with all of the new tools available to build a fanbase and make a living in the new music business. Your choice.
Check out Clare Means on Periscope
Ari Herstand is the author of How To Make It in the New Music Business, a Los Angeles based singer/songwriter and the creator of the music biz advice blog Ari’s Take. Follow him on Twitter: @aristake
Photo by Miguel Santana
Photo by Miguel Santana
Photo by DC Buchanan
Clare's Kickstarter Campaign awarded Most Impressive Crowdfunding Campaign by LA Music Critic Award for Second Half of 2016