Aistis Unveils Experimental Folk Odyssey of Love, Loss, and Self-Discovery In Album ‘Clay’

With his vulnerabilities splayed out in an entirely new light, Clay is an 11-song alternative folk album from Aistis that sprung out of the woodwork as an exercise of artistic completion. As the finishing touches were coming together for his upcoming full-length ‘Caviar For Seagulls’, Aistis began writing Clay as a place to continue expressing the present. Experimenting with song structure, irregular pacing, and injecting his personal brand of theatricality. Rummaging for information inside recollections, rejecting the public or any social formalities, he reckons with letting go of a lover only to always come back. An honest bottling up of cyclical behaviours coming to a head. Whilst ‘Clay’ is a testament to the malleability of moulding or breaking a fantasy, the atmospheric soundscape paints the picture of a character stuck in a romantic cobweb.

Speaking on the creative process of ‘Clay’, Aistis shares:

“I had been navigating a relationship with someone that I loved deeply but found ever-confusing, beautiful, sometimes painful, strange, complicated, yet life-affirming. I think a lot of “Clay” started as an exploration of trying to gain a deeper understanding of what it was I was feeling, but sort of morphed into its own entity the further in I went. As the writer/creator of the work, there is inherent bias in my re-telling of history and feeling. This became ever apparent to me the more I wrote, so I decided it would be far more interesting and true to explore my feelings around this relationship by blending elements of reality with intentional fiction and exaggeration, told through the narration of multiple voices. Myself, the muse, and the inner-voice, without ever defining who it is that is speaking. The journey became non-linear and is full of love, hypocrisy, self-reflection, inside-jokes, romanticism, self-deprecation, and beauty. Despite its fictional elements, it somehow feels like the most honest exploration of the love and reverie I hold for this person, for every experience shared together, good or bad, as well as of the self. Throughout the entire process of making “Clay”, this person remained/remains involved and played/plays a huge role in collaboration, making everything all the more special, while almost adding to the ethos and mythology of “Clay” itself.”

The detailed obsessions of previously released single ‘Plateau Botticelli’ are reassessed in ‘Thought It Over (And I Think You Should Move On)’, finally giving up in ‘So They Say’, just to make his way back through aromatic pleasure in ‘Lilac Perfume’. The journey is non-linear and takes us through the acceptance of getting what we can from our intimacies. ‘The Mouse In The Kitchen’ prematurely closes the curtain of the album with a hushed lullaby serenading an exit, by banishing all desire to curl up by the fire alone. The title track ‘Clay’ ends in a piano ballad that reminds once again, that love can endlessly linger and shapeshift, as the pieces of clay are relinquished and divided.

Speaking on the transfixing themes of ‘Clay’, Aistis says:

“Thematically, I always write in loose themes and with the larger scope of an album in mind, but it is not always clear how it will fit together until I write a batch of songs and start to see a throughline. Sometimes the theme reveals itself, other times you have to search for and guide it. This seems to be the way things came together for “Clay”. A few songs unveiled themselves, and then they informed the rest of the writing, revealing something larger in scope.”

The narrative musings are persuasive, isolating, poignant, descriptive, true, and untrue – wrestling with his place romantically in order to plug himself back into the world. Aistis unwavering uses song to claw through and understand, but ultimately acknowledges the album becomes another artifact of a disillusioned story. Whilst releasing this album, now predating the upcoming album ‘Caviar For Seagulls’, Aistis offers an inverted conversation of self-development – letting go of what’s pressing in order to have an authentic relationship with himself and his audience.