Let’s get one thing out of the way: Clairaudients is not playing a reunion show this weekend. In fact, they’ve never broken up. “The actions and events we perform are very well thought out by all of us,” says frontman and guitarist Patrick Robinson, “and are also a result of the distance placed between some of us.”
While three of the members (Robinson, Chase Horseman and Carson Land) remain in the KC area, two of the founding members have since relocated: Blaire Geenens now lives in Los Angeles and Jordan Thompson in Colorado. But unlike many other groups in this position, Clairaudients has chosen not to replace core members or disband—instead, they’ve continued to collaborate across time zones and have performed special shows when everyone is in town. This has ultimately led to some confusion among KC music fans.
“Sometimes a slow pace can come off as if we are capitalizing on the amazing sentiment we share with our fans by having a series of reunion shows,” but Robinson states that this is not the case with any of their events, including their upcoming appearance this Friday at Davey’s Uptown. The sentiment is instead to extend their gratitude to their devoted friends, family and fans alike, and play together for the sheer enjoyment of doing so. “The show is happening because we are all in a position to come together and do what we love most to do: gather a large amount of people in a venue with us and share what we believe to be a very special experience.”
The quintet’s last appearance was in December, when they filled Davey’s with the dynamic, layered sound that has enthralled fans since their beginnings in mid-2012 as The Atlantic (they changed the name in late 2012). Clairaudients’ music can be described as a compelling journey of soundscapes, rooted in Geenens’ and Land’s bouncing rhythms and Robinson’s clear vocal delivery. With the help of atmospheric guitar tones, transcendental keyboard patterns and celestial three-part harmonies, the songs often shift from a solemn whisper to an explosive outcry. But with two members living in two different time zones, how do they manage to rehearse and record new material?
“I recorded an entire album full of drums to keep the boys busy while I study,” mentions Geenens, who moved to LA to attend the Musicians Institute. Thompson additionally records his parts when he visits KC. According to Robinson, “It’s left Carson, Chase and myself with a little more space and time to really sculpt everything how we would like.” As a result, the group promises some new and familiar material at the Friday show, as well as older songs that have undergone some transformation.
Finally, Robinson notes that Clairaudients has managed to remain a group by communicating and cultivating a level of patience and respect for one another. “We all understand that there are goals and personal matters for everyone outside of this band. No one is exempt from that. So with that common understanding, we are able to move at a very natural pace.”
Michelle Bacon is a musician and writer dedicated to the Kansas City music community. As editor of The Deli Magazine-Kansas City and social media coordinator for Midwest Music Foundation, she advocates and helps spotlight music in the area. She is also a freelance writer for The Kansas City Star and plays in area bands The Philistines, Dolls on Fire and Chris Meck & the Guilty Birds.