Based in the heart of the Midwest, D. CLEA is a band who's sound has been deemed "hard to describe" by most listeners (also popularly referred to as having a "vintage" quality). This is undoubtedly affected by the incredibly varying musical backgrounds of all four members.
What started in 2009 as a solo folk project for the band's primary songwriter and creative head, Darien Clea (raised on a lot of Paul McCartney & Wings, Carly Simon, and Phil Keaggy), evolved over the years to become something much larger and more integrative. This evolution was due to the additions of drummer Matt Fritzler (grew up listening to Led Zeppelin and Steely Dan), bassist Ryan Westeren (loved The Police, Audio Adrenaline, MxPx), and guitarist Caleb Block (influenced by Circa Survive, Oceansize, and Dredg). By 2014, the drastic change in genre that had developed from a half-decade of refining their musical synergy led to a much needed rebranding. Darien subsequently dropped the last five letters of her first name, now going under the moniker D. CLEA. This allowed the band as a whole to finally be perceived and recognized as a collective group rather than a single person, while still paying credit to the visionary behind the music. When questioned about their genre, they began to identify as Alt-Pop, encompassing the melodic and hooky pop-quality of their sound, centered around Darien's vocals and lyrics, while acknowleding the often guitar-heavy and rhythm-driven arrangements that dabble in and out of subtle time signature changes.
In August of 2016 D. CLEA released IN SICKNESS, their debut record, which was the result of years of writing, re-writing, and re-re-writing, and thus, in itself, a living metaphor for the very concept of the album: being cut away at and refined by love in all its unexpectedly bitter, grief-ridden, and self-sacrifice demanding moments.
While IN SICKNESS was written over the course of several years, their sophomore album, IN HEALTH, was written in just under 6 months and then released in January of 2018. At six tracks long, this sophomore release in many ways contains emotional ghosts of its predecessor, but lyrically IN HEALTH bares a newfound soul maturity, and musically takes risks that were side-stepped on IN SICKNESS. The tone of this album winds in and out of all the feelings of coming to terms with longstanding heartache, from the hard-hitting and confident first track, Virus, to the indignant-and-fed-up-turned-vulnerable-and-grieving third track, Drip Kiss Honey, to the final track, Healed, which ends in pleading to be made well. Saturated in sentiment, and thick with character, IN HEALTH has the tendency to resonate with its listener long after the music has stopped.
D. CLEA is currently booking tours in promotion of their 2018 release, meanwhile writing for what will be their third studio project, and first full length record.