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Brian M. Clark
Songs From The Empty Places Where People Killed Themselves
Songs From The Empty Places Where People Killed Themselves

4-song EP

Format: 12" vinyl EP (black)
Released: 2011
Total running time: 18:01

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Artist's website: BrianMclark.com
  1. Suburban bedroom
  2. (A pretty young girl swallows a bottle of pills for reasons that would have seemed stupid in retrospect, had she lived.)

  3. Downtown high-rise loft
  4. (A drunken executive staggers around his apartment all evening, until—in an uncharacteristic moment of impulsive melodrama—he blows his brains out.)

  5. High school library, gymnasium and cafeteria
  6. (A fat nerd finally brings his guns to school.)

  7. Studio apartment bathroom
  8. (A lonely old widow slits her wrists in the bathtub.)

All songs written and performed by Brian M. Clark and published by Discriminate Audio Publishing (BMI).


This is a one-sided 12" vinyl EP of instrumental songs about suicide. In the tradition of what are typically referred to as "tone poems," each song is an attempt at evoking a different suicide scenario and is named for the location in which the imagined suicide has taken place. To achieve this aim, Clark's compositions range from gloomy organ arrangements, to tempo-shifting heavy metal tracks, to echoey solo-piano works, and even frenetic multi-instrumental compositions with a feel of early 20th Century Modernism. Although this release will prove inaccessible to many listeners due to both its subject matter and its trans-genre nature, those interested in music-for-music's-sake are likely to find something of real interest and worth in this EP.

Limited to 500 hand-numbered copies, each vinyl EP comes with an .MP3 download card with links to two additional digital-only remix tracks.

Produced, recorded, and mixed by Brian M. Clark at Unpop Studio in Los Angeles, California. Mastered by Bob Ferbrache at Absinthe Studio in Denver, Colorado. Cover photograph, design, and layout by Brian M. Clark.


    "A surprisingly fun record that is good to put on when you're feeling suicidal."
          - Nick Gazin, Vice Magazine, United States

    "[These songs] shimmy from creepy carnival calliope to detective show jazz to industrial cacophony... Despite the downer theme you'll find this oddly upbeat and inspiring."
          - Jake Austen, Roctober Magazine, United States

    "It's like a Todd Solondz or Gaspar Noé movie in music, but maybe in some cases going further."
          - Thomas Murphy, Queen City Sounds and Art, United States

    "On looking at the title, my first impression was, 'well this should be a complete downer.' [but]... Overall this is an interesting album and takes on the subject matter in a much more interesting manner than I expected. I especially applaud the instrumental approach rather than just going for the easy way out with vocals or samples."
          - Eskaton, Chain D.L.K., United States

    "These carnivalesque instrumentals are definitely out of our wheelhouse, but we found ourselves entranced. ... Hypnotic, spooky, and yet somehow meditative. ... Best listened to in the long form."
          - Paul French, Denverse Magazine, United States

    "Brian M. Clark executes perfectly disjointed imagery and sound on his one-sided 12", Songs from the Empty Places where People Killed Themselves. This disjoint is pervasive, starting from the exploitation of the listener's expectations... Viewing the artwork, project title, and song titles (and descriptions), Clark places the listener's mind into a morbid realm, populated by despairing characters and true violence... This set of artwork, song titles, and character descriptions perfectly offsets the music from the morbid atmosphere. In fact, the music is bright, nearly cheery, and it waltzes along according to bass or organ lines that serve as a foundation or continuous theme for the songs... Clark confronts his listener with striking images and situations of true despair and violence, only to offset those images and situations with spaces that endure according to a completely different feeling. A true disjoint, ultimately allowing us to think about the endless perspectives that place our psychological expectations against physical realities. Spaces endure, even as our imagery and expectations pull us in another direction; Clark effectively and even playfully executes this contrast in musical terms."
          - Nicholas Zettel, Foxy Digitalis, United States

    "This is an exercise in program music – four instrumental songs crafted to impart thematic intent upon the listener. I want to frame the declamatory nature of this with 'Death of the Author' and the assertive naiveté of abstract painting, but the margins here are narrow... Considering the source, this record is more genuine, more direct, than a didactic monolith for darkness's sake."
          - Elizabeth Murphy, Dusted Magazine, United States

    "This mood music is not what you expect... That's what's good about this. Songs From The Empty Places Where People Killed Themselves doesn't impose a rigid reading. There's the track title and a brief description of the suicide scenario, but from there on it's up to the listener to fill in the detail, as brutal or banal as you care to make it... At the hands of Brian M. Clark, suicide has never sounded so groovy."
          - Tony Dickie, Compulsion Online, Scotland

    "Songs from the Empty Places Where People Killed Themselves is supposed to mimic the memory of the event, not the event itself – a haunting glance into frozen tragedy from the mind of someone who understands the subtle humor behind the fleeting, temporal nature of existence and can perhaps find some level of comfort within it."
          - Sage L. Weatherford, Heathen Harvest, United States

    "This one-sided LP, four tracks, is Clark's first solo record... The first two pieces are very filmic, with marimbas, pianos and percussion, gentle and vibrant, almost like a classic modern score to film. The third piece consists of the howling of guitars, while the closing piece is a very contemplative piece of sparse piano, guitar and sustaining sounds. I thought it was pretty stuff actually... In hindsight it's of course not easy to say if they sound like [tone poems] dealing with suicides, but perhaps they don't. It's like an umbrella concept hanging over the record. You could also, as easily perhaps, state that these are four great soundtracks to imaginary films. Very nice."
          - Rafa Madura, Vital Weekly / Modisti, Spain