TRIPMaryland Acoustic Soul Musician, McClenney Drops First Single of 2020,
Evan Dale // Feb 6, 2020
Maryland producer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and vocalist, McClenney, has emerged from that last few years of subtle emotional ballads and funk-driven anthems to stand as one of the most exciting young talents in Neo-Soul. 2019’s I’m Not Here was his thesis on instrumentally founded modern soul, and his subsequent singles, Get Back & Black Betty White introduced further angles from which he’s capable of exploring his acoustic and funk-experimental R&B.
His first release of 2020 is TRIP, and akin to his last year’s worth of releases, it’s firm in its emotionality and acoustic roots, just as it stands strong in differentiating itself from what he or anyone else has done before. Built on a pillar of gentle guitar, TRIP is an understated flex of McClenney’s ability to produce a complex, layered, and playful composition into something that feels ultimately simple. And in that seeming simplicity exists McClenney’s strongest weapon: relatability.
TRIP is a tale of loneliness – par for the course for an artist who last year released Art of the Loner – but done in a way that feels reveling in self-sufficiency more than it does wallowing in self-pity. It’s a gorgeous, uplifting ballad from an artist who has proven time and time again to be one of Neo-Soul and acoustic’s most compelling architects of emotionality.