You might not know who Gavin Clark is, being described by Vice’s Noisey as an unsung hero, but sine he sadly passed recently I wanted to showcase his unbelievable talent and the unique relationship all of us have to the artists we’ve never met in person, even if I’ll stumble through the text with my Swedish-English vocabulary. If you want to know more about Gavin, there’s an excellent short documentary by Meadows and members of UNKLE are set to release an album later this year featuring Gavin. Or better yet, hit Youtube and start off with my favorite track, Against The Grain.
When an artist you’ve never met, but have had a close relationship with throughout his or her work, dies- It creates a very special kind of void, something difficult to describe. My interpretation and imagination of what that person was reflects something in me, maybe that’s why coping with the end of that bond takes on a very special form of loss.
I never talked to Gavin Clark, a singer-songwriter most known for his work with UNKLE and director Shane Meadows (This is England) soundtracks. His unique vocal presence and the soulful, brutal honesty in his voice made him one of my favorite singers and writer. Throughout the years he became more than a man, someone I never wanted to meet but keep my interpretation of, selfishly making his work and persona into what I needed to soundtrack the ups and downs in life.
Last year I was truly honored when I was offered to rework one his song for an upcoming album. A dream come true. Working day and night, and the fact that I had created an image of Gavin that was beyond reality I made lots of variations of the song, but it was never good enough for what Gavin meant to me – Knowing he was going to listen to it and for the first time, I was able to communicate back to him with my music. I’m sad I never shared the track, but I don’t think I was meant to at the time.
Gavin passed away last week and my heart goes out to his friends and family. He might have never fully reached commercial success, whatever that is, but me and many of my friends gained a deep appreciation and connection to his work, and I hope those who knew him in real life are aware of how much he meant to a lot of us. As Mark Perlaki beautifully puts it, “An authentic. A songsmith cut from a different cloth.”