North London musician Teddy Clarke has released an engaging indie rock and pop banger with Stick & Poke. Stick & Poke is Clarke’s second more upbeat release this year after the mellower Bleak. This is his fourth song released after Bleak, Curtain Call, and The World In Which They Play. The track is co-written with Ben Bogen while Ben and Joel Bogen aka Digital & Analog are his regular producers. Clarke has been aired on BBC Introducing and Amazon Radio. Clarke has been writing music since his mid-teens being influenced by artists like Radiohead, David Bowie, and Ben Howard.
Stick & Poke begins with acoustic guitars and a straight rhythmic beat. The multiple layers catapult to a chorus with stunning sound production. The strumming and drums weave together to formidable strings and electric guitars. The genesis of the song lies in reflections on the nature of mental health and social media. It was written during the lockdown when the internet was the primary communication medium.
Clarke displays Don McLean’s lyricism in his songwriting. Vocals are performed with gravitas and have an almost operatic delivery. The song notes the loneliness created by social media. The anonymous nature of abuse on the internet is another reflection point. He asks what if hateful comments were tattoed for everyone to permanently see? From his debut, The World In Which They Play which was a climate crisis commentary, Clarke establishes himself as a songwriter with musical tact and thematic wit. Stick & Poke is an alternative pop song with tight musicality and a message.