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First Listen Premiere: Brendan Clemente – “Good Good Morning” with KBong

Throughout my journey on this planet, I have learned a few invaluable truths that have etched themselves into the fabric of my being. First and foremost, you cannot fake generosity; Authenticity shines brighter than a midday Mexican sun. Second, genuine humility cannot hide, no matter how hard it tries to bury itself in the Gran Deserito.

Yet, amidst the intricacies of life, one irrefutable truth stands, the allure of good music. Music is the universal language that transcends beyond linguistics and never needs translation. Music can capture a moment in time, carry the heart’s rhythm, and above all else, hold the vibrations of life together. After all, we are tightly bound beings of molecules held together by what? Music.

As a human being, Brendan Clemente personifies these deep-rooted philosophies that I hold dear. As a musician, he emanates these feelings into beautiful symphonies that tug at the heart. Clemente has devoted the past ten years to crafting memorable melodies. What started out as a self-funded dream in his basement studio in Minnesota has landed Clemente in the driver’s seat at Ineffable’s Great Stone Studio and at the round table of dedicated and gifted musicians.According to the up-and-comingsolo  musician, Never in his wildest dreams did he think this grind would pay off. He admits to being held back by moments of doubt and concerns that things might never pick up.

Clemente, Johnny Cosmic & KBong

His latest release, “Good Good Morning,” featuring KBong, is no exception to these themes and declarations of dedication. Clemente recalls the song’s inception: “I remember playing with my 6-month-old baby and I just grabbed my guitar right there and started trying to find chords that inspired me. Later that night, after the baby went to bed, I went down into my little studio and kept writing immediately. That night I put together the chord progression, most of the beat, and the first draft of the lyrics. I got it sounding decent and sent a rough draft to KBong.” Begging the question of what it’s like to send off a song to a harmonic hero. Clemente explains, “It’s always a little unnerving sharing a song with an artist you really love and respect, as you’re not sure if they’ll like it or not.”

Clemente also had help from another talented musician from the Stick Figure camp, maestro Johnny Cosmic, who  wove his wizardry into the track by recording and producing and even writing the song’s middle-eight bridge. Clemente expressed his gratitude, stating, “I always feel the need to give Johnny Cosmic a huge shoutout because none of this would’ve been possible without him. Three years ago, I was an artist that almost no one knew, just writing and producing songs in my little home studio in Minnesota and releasing them to almost no listeners. When I started writing the song ‘Time,’ I posted a snippet of it online and got a message from Johnny Cosmic that he wanted to collaborate with me on it and help produce it. That one little song opened up all of these insane new doors – all of a sudden, I was working with Stick Figure’s guitar player and one of the best producers in the scene and releasing songs on Ineffable Records. Soon after, Johnny messaged me several more times, and acting as both a friend and mentor, kept pushing me out of my comfort zone and encouraged me to keep writing more songs we could produce and collaborate on together. That song sparked what has become one of my favorite friendships and has enabled me to work on a bunch of songs with Johnny.”

The track kicks off with an airy whistle and sprung bass riff before the tranquil voice of Clemente bounces into the soundscape. The simple nature of the song paints itself like a low-hanging Western sun draping itself over an entangled myriad of Spanish moss. The simple toned-down instrumentation propels the ears into an acoustic panorama where every note becomes a masterfully painted brushstroke.

Upon KBong’s entrance in the second verse, Clemente states, “If you listen closely to his verse on the song, you can literally hear him smiling while he’s singing.” This is no exaggeration either; the infectious smile of KBong glistens through the timbre of his voice. As KBong’s vocals dance over the melody, the voice of Clemente harmonizes with KBong and radiates the tune with a gentle glow.

When asked what it was like to work with KBong in the studio, Clemente explains, “I really enjoyed seeing his writing process – he’s so thoughtful and intentional, and really takes songwriting seriously. As happy and joyful as he always is, you can tell that he is extremely serious about music.”  He further describes how he and KBong focused on evoking a feeling within the song. “We were very careful not just about how the words told the story, but also how they felt and worked together as we sang them.”

Beyond the warmth of the harmonies and poignant lyrics, Clemente paints a beautiful picture that promotes waking up positively and having a great day, and doing your best to carry those vibes throughout each day of your life.

“Good Good Morning” drops on streaming platforms tomorrow, Friday, August 18th, but Rootfire readers can listen to the song at the link above.

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Brendan is a writer based out of Tampa Bay, Florida with a true love for the written word, history, and, of course, music. He has been covering the local reggae scene professionally since 2018 when he first began as a contributor to a local Tampa Bay alt weekly. Even before then, Brendan has loved music and writing and dives deep into discographies and tries to discover new music daily. His love for music started when he was young, where his parents would play all different types of music, but it wouldn’t be until later in his teens when he discovered reggae music and this historic legacy it holds.

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