Last time we spoke with singer/songwriter Cloves, she was explaining to Uproxx how she found her incredible singing voice by traveling the world as a teen as part of our Heard It Here emerging artists series. Today, she’s returned to the music with the release of a new song, “California Numb,” that follows up her previous single “Better Now.” After a few listens to her smoky alto, the early song sounds like a lulling folk lullabye, until it grows into something massive and shattering. Make sure to listen to that track too, if you’re just discovering Cloves.
But the real focus today is on her brand new track. Cloves said the song is about realizing you’re losing yourself, but refusing to let that happen.
“’California Numb is about catching yourself off guard,” she said in a press release. “It’s about the moment you realize you’re becoming somebody you don’t want to be, the idea of losing yourself in something or someone else you shouldn’t be influenced by, and having to claw yourself back.”
She is currently writing her debut album with a host of collaborators that include Justin Parker (Rihanna, Mikky Ekko, Sia, Lana Del Rey), Starsmith (Ellie Goulding, Clean Bandit, Jess Glynne) and Ariel Rechtshaid (HAIM, Adele, Vampire Weekend, Brandon Flowers). After an initial EP XIII back in 2015, Cloves’ breakout hit “Don’t Forget About Me” was selected for the film Me Before You and put her on the national radar.
“California Numb” delves deeper into the bluesy and jazzy side of her sound, bringing to mind the Amy Winehouse vocal comparison that plenty of people have already been making. It might be her most defiant song to date — and that rebellion sounds good on her. Listen above and watch for much more from this emerging pop star coming soon.