Mary Clare Clemons was living in the largest side room in the Clubhouse, our DIY Venue from back in the day (RIP), when I first met her and started talking to her about art and music. I remember thinking it was strange that anyone would want to live in that place, but, then again, I think maybe she felt that way, too. Regardless, the friendship I've garnered over the last couple years with MC has been truly a fulfilling one. For starters, she's a sweetheart, a great conversationalist, and she's one of the most welcoming, warm-hearted members of the Jackson Collective Family every single time I pull up to Jackson Tree. But one specifically awesome quality leads us here today, and that is Clemons uncanny ear for producing music under her alias Numa.
The first time someone showed me a Numa track, I was pretty speechless. This wasn't the norm, this wasn't what one would have expected. When Numa spins, at least when I've seen her, she's dropped some pretty filthy bass, and when I saw her working on music, the one time I saw her, she was troubleshooting some internet issues on her mac in the Clubhouse and I didn't really get to see what she had goin' on. I'm also going to mention that for the most part, the Jackson Collective is a very House oriented family of musicians, so I was expecting something along those lines. I remember the song slapped, and I kept asking where she got the absolutely stunning vocal tracks. "That's her, dude."
Last winter, The Jackson Collective released their inaugural volume of collected tracks, "Hello, My Name Is Jackson, Vol. 1" and while every single song slapped so hard that I may spend the day revisiting the collection, my admitted favorite was Numa's track "Wash Out". The trudging bass and beautifully haunting vocals immediately caught my attention. The vibe in the track is completely different than the rest of the EP, it feels a little more alternative influenced and a little closer to ol' Indie Dance Radio on Pandora than something you'd see dropped at a rave, but we still get such a sweet, pulsing drop bestowed on us midway through the track that grounds us back in the excellent sauce the EP prepares for us. So naturally, I approached MC recently and asked if she had anything coming out soon to grace my earholes.
"Crawling Back" is anything but what the title implies, it is completely a step forward for Numa as an artist. The song is superb, by all means and for lack of a better word, a fuckin' bop, and it's now starting it's 6th lap on repeat as I write this now. It's an ode to giving up the things we return to when we want to feel comfortable, even when they're unhealthy for us, and a reminder we have the power to create and become whatever we want to in our lives. Again, gorgeous vocals immediately float from the song and fill our heads with questions of love and living life and it almost casts a resonating feeling of absence within us, even though I feel so reassured of myself by the time the song ends. The vocals eventually swell into a bassy drop that is remnant of crowd-pleasing, charismatic, highly energetic Alison Wonderland tracks of recent years. The production on the track is simply stunning, everything is seemingly in its right place and the catchiness of the song lingers on your mind for hours once its 4 minute and 28 second mark has passed. And I just cannot stop complimenting the vocal performance.
Clemons has had the music she's written hit the Top 20 on Billboard's Dance Chart, and I cannot wait to see where this track gets her. I'm getting more and more eager to return to Jackson Tree with each new song I hear from the artist's in the splendid collective, and this was no different. The song is a must for your summer collection. Listen to it in the car, sing it in the shower, get down to it on the dance floor, do whatever you do to celebrate incredible art, but whatever you do, don't sleep on this song.