The Manchester trio have been ploughing a straight furrow for well over a decade, resisting the temptation to completely reinvent themselves with each new album. Instead they have built on their familiar lyrical themes of remorse and rebirth, adding musical nuances of dark and light to drum up a unique end result each time. And, through concentrating on their craft, John, Peter Jobson (bass) and Andy Hargreaves (drums) have surely reaped the rewards.
From their first album Natural History (2001) John has teased out poetically lean lyrics, all tightly bound with deft guitar melodies and his trademark low key swagger. Five more albums have followed, including their latest Let It All In, which entered the Top 10 a couple of weeks ago and promises to win the trio greater critical acclaim, more fans and possibly a Mercury Music Prize nomination later in the year.
It could mark the band’s second nomination for the coveted prize – their album Sky at Night, a more spacious set than they are usually known for, was shortlisted in 2010.
Like Elbow before them, I Am Kloot have taken a steady leap with each record, and it seems they are now primed for their moment in the sun. They have worked with Elbow’s Guy Garvey since the very beginning, with Garvey and bandmate Craig Potter producing most of I Am Kloot’s output.
We met John at the Gibson Guitar Studios in Central London last week for an acoustic session and interview. He spoke candidly to M about his songwriting, his hopes for the new album and his love affair with gigging. Below is the first song from that day, Masquerade, taken from the current album. Two more tracks and the interview will follow shortly.