Exit Clov – Respond Respond

Exit Clov
Respond Respond

Though the music often sounds pleasant, Exit Clov suffer from a lack of identity. Kind of indie rock, kind of chamber pop, kind of twee, some Top 40 and altogether not really anything you can sink your teeth into. The band is talented and intelligent but too green. The album Respond Respond suffers from the awkwardness of youth without projecting any of the power of being young.

Artists who make a name for themselves at a young age often have something to compensate for their lack of life experience: usually traumatic or unusual childhood experiences, a dynamic personality, genius-level intelligence, or genuine musical prodigiousness. It’s unfortunate but these are the things many people want from their young musicians and you don’t hear any of it in Exit Clov’s music.

Exit Clov is fronted by harmonizing twin Asian female vocalists/musicians, so the vocals are the 800lb gorilla with this band. One problem is that I don’t care what they have to say. I know the band works out of Washington,D.C., but I don’t know where they come from. I can only suspect songs are written in dorm rooms, hashed out at music school rehearsal space, and recorded in clean, decked out recording studios. I’m probably wrong, but Exit Clov has not told me differently with their music, vocals, or website.

The twins Emily and Susan Hsu’s harmonies are solid but they are not virtuosos and they sing with their “inside voices” all of the time. Maybe this is what works best or maybe they go flat when they push it. Who knows? The music is catchy: “DIY” and “Beast Simone” are the best tracks on the 6 song EP Respond Respond.

Unless you’re under 17 years of age, you might want to give Exit Clov a little while longer to grow into their talent.