just stay'Maryland's Indefinable McClenney Releases Deep, Delicate Love Song, '
Evan Dale // April 10, 2020
Maryland wunderkind, McClenney does it all. He builds the foundation for some of the most dance-worthy hits in music – just check out Ciscero & Masego’s 2019 Good to Know. He consistently earns his name into the credits across an impossibly wide musical range – have you heard Boogie’s Everythings For Sale, Smino’s NOIR, H.E.R.’s self-titled project, or either of R&B up-and-comer, Marco McKinnis’s projects to this point?
But, with his own work – where he puts forth the effort of every compositional step – the light of his sound shines brightest – and perhaps most melancholy, too. He has become the master of a sound that floats effortlessly between so many aged and modern stylistic delineations, that it instead exists in its own sphere. McClenney’s aesthetic is one marked by transcendence: transcendence from the organically instrumentalized to the electronically produced; from the humble subtleties of bedroom pop to the intangible presence of pristine vocalism; from one emotion to another so deep, pure, and relatable that he has music that befits almost any emotional state. On one end of that emotional range are tracks like 2018’s sidetoside where McClenney’s clear and present funk-disco foundations become anthemic.
On that spectrum’s other edge are tracks like just stay– his latest single – where sensual bliss, layers of self-vocalism, high range, and effervescent acoustic strums adjoin for a subtle yet deeply passionate kind of love song not necessarily neo-soul, funk, or pop, but instead adhering to the consistent indefinability found throughout his 2019 project, I’m Not Here.
just stay feels like a progression of the lane he has been travelling for some time now – and with it and its purely inventive form – McClenney and music feel at their most human, even if what he’s doing is humanly impossible with most of our lackluster skillsets.