Imogen Clark: ‘The Art of Getting Through’ Proves Songwriter Survives and Thrives

Imogen Clark - All photos by Notes From Vivace

Photos and Interview by NOTES FROM VIVACE

LOS ANGELES – Australian Imogen Clark took the Hotel Cafe stage with a vibrant personality that wowed the crowd. Her setlist was primarily from her latest album The Art of Getting Through.

She provided stories about her songs throughout the set. She talked about growing up in Western Sydney where the expectation was that people would marry their high school sweethearts and that lifestyle was just not for her.

Imogen Clark – All photos by Notes From Vivace

Other stories included her friendship with a musician who committed suicide, her feelings during Australia’s pandemic lockdowns, and getting stood up on a date. Those stories provided the context for her singer-songwriter rock music that was propelled by stunning vocals . . . and a Bruce Springsteen sleeveless shirt.

Prior to the set, US Rocker was able to interview Clark who recently moved from Australia to Nashville.

Q. You’ve released a new album, The Art of Getting Through. What is your favorite song from your new album and what makes it your favorite?

One of the songs I’m most proud of is “The Last of Me.” It’s kind of the emotional centerpiece of the record. I wrote it at my lowest ebb, three years ago at the depths of the pandemic. My whole life had been ripped away from me, my mental health was in the gutter and I was consumed by depression and despair.

I wrote this song at my keyboard, bawling my eyes out as I pounded out the chords, willing myself back to life with the determination that the world hadn’t seen the last of me yet. I was so proud of myself for making it through that period, for capturing that in a song and for the day we spent in East West Studios in LA recording it, with Bo Koster from My Morning Jacket on piano, Gus Seyffert on bass and the icon Jim Keltner on drums.

Imogen Clark – All photos by Notes From Vivace

Q. What is currently inspiring you in terms of music?

To be making music in a period where so many women are carving out space for themselves to do their music their way is so inspiring, and it feels like there has been space cleared for me to find my own voice and audience. I’m obsessed with Chappell Roan, I think her record is genius, smart, funny and meaningful pop music, and Madison Cunningham knocks me out as a guitarist, singer and brilliant songwriter who makes so many great little juicy moments happen in her songs.

Imogen Clark – All photos by Notes From Vivace

Q. I saw that you recently moved from Australia to Nashville and that it is something you’ve wanted to do for ten years. What about Nashville has enticed you over the last ten years? What made now the time to make that move?

I first came to Nashville in September 2014 for a festival I was playing at, before I’d put any records out and before I was legally allowed to drink at some of the venues I was playing. It totally opened up and blew my mind – the unbelievable musicians everywhere you turned, the musical history you could (literally in some cases) touch all around you, the reverence songwriters and songwriting were held in… it was just a mecca for everything I cared about, and I knew it was going to be my home someday.

It’s not an easy, cheap or quick process moving from one side of the world to the other, and the pandemic dragged the process out a fair bit, but I’m so glad to have made the move and made Nashville my home just before my new album came out, it feels like the perfect start of this next chapter of my life and career.

Imogen Clark – All photos by Notes From Vivace

Q. Other than friends, what will you miss most about Australia?

My mother, who is also my best friend, my dog Socks and the coffee!

Q. Do you have a favorite story / memory from one of your tours that you can share?

I was determined not to let COVID put me on ice as an artist, so as soon as we got out of lockdown and it was safe again in Australia, I started doing shows. In late 2021, when we’d all gotten vaccinated and the worst of things seemed to be behind us, I planned this massive show in Melbourne with a big band and a bunch of special guest artists.

We started rehearsing, it was looking like it would be the show of my career and then Omicron started looming on the horizon and in the weeks leading up to the gig, every member of my band except the bass player and drummer went down with COVID – I went through four different guitarists, lost my keyboard player, six of the guests and then when we were in final rehearsals, the venue shut. We sat there looking at each other in disbelief, the day before the show, wondering if all this effort had been for nothing, when my agent called and said we found another venue who were able to take the show, and it turned out to be one of the most satisfying shows of my career, with a wonderful distanced crowd who were so grateful we found a way to go ahead.

Imogen Clark – All photos by Notes From Vivace

Hotel Cafe Setlist: If I Want In, Silhouette, The Art of Getting Through, Big One, Squinters, First Class Man, The Last of Me, The Noise, Sebastian, All Hard Feelings, If Your Heart Never Breaks.

Listen to The Art of Getting Through here: