Cut Worms, a.k.a. NY-based Max Clarke, is announcing his debut EP, “Alien Sunset,” out October 20th on Jagjaguwar. He’s sharing the EP’s lead single “Like Going Down Sideways” along with its accompanying video via Brooklyn Vegan. Additionally, he’s announcing a fall tour supporting The Lemon Twigs and Nick Lowe.
“Alien Sunset” is a collection of home-recorded “demos” from Clarke’s time living in Chicago (Side A) and New York City (Side B), written in spurts, like little designated creative coffee breaks. After going to school for illustration, steering toward a career in graphic design, and taking some handy-man type jobs, he realized that songwriting, a pastime since he was twelve years old, was the only type of work that didn’t feel like just work. Following the example of a prolific roommate who had endeavored to write a song a day for a year, Clarke decided to dedicate his daily hour of free-time after work to mindful musical regimen. He challenged himself to record two songs a month and release them online – for better or for worse, praise or criticism. Expecting little more than a few constructive comments regarding his 8-track fidelity, he was surprised by the positive reactions to his antique sound, classic voice, and Everly Brothers style close harmonies. Soon after, Jagjaguwar discovered him:
“The timeless, mystic pull of Max Clarke’s rough demos was absolutely undeniable. While a proper, polished Cut Worms album has been readied for release in 2018, it felt like a minor injustice to deny listeners their own opportunity to fall in love with Cut Worms the very same way we did. Some of those early demos that traveled with us through 2016 and now, 2017, are collected here on ‘Alien Sunset.’”
Today, Clarke shares the video for “Like Going Down Sideways” via Brooklyn Vegan. “My girlfriend Caroline filmed and directed the video,” says Clarke. “We shot it on a combination of Super 8 and VHS over the course of a couple weekends in a variety of locations in the New England area—at a 4th of July Barn Party in New Hampshire; at a house in the Berkshires in Massachusetts; At a graveyard; At a Taconic Sculpture Garden which we spotted while driving on the highway. The narrative is intentionally loose like a home movie, and the desired effect was to be like walking into a room where someone is showing found footage and just having to take it for what it is… whatever that is.”