The last ten years have been a rollercoaster of deep despair and amazing opportunities that somehow present themselves at the last possible second,” says Eef Barzelay. “During that time, the band bottomed out, I lost my house, and I had to declare bankruptcy. The only way to survive was to try to transcend myself, to find some kind of deeper, spiritual relationship with life. Once I committed to that, all these little miracles started happening.”
Forever Just Beyond, Barzelay’s stunning new album under the Clem Snide moniker, may just be the most miraculous of them all. Produced by Scott Avett, the record is a work of exquisite beauty and profound questioning, a reckoning with faith and reality that rushes headlong into the unknown and the unknowable. The songs here grapple with hope and depression, identity and perception, God and the afterlife, humanizing thorny existential issues and delivering them with the intimate, understated air of a late-night conversation between old friends. Avett’s production is similarly warm and inviting, and the careful, spacious arrangement of gentle guitars and spare percussion carves a wide path for Barzelay’s insightful lyrics and idiosyncratic delivery.