Nfld. & Labrador·Music

Star on the Rise: Meet Clare Follett

Meet the multi-talented 18 year-old Newfoundlander taking the East Coast music scene by storm.

Clare Follett is only 18 years old and has already released her second album.

Clare Follett is a musician from St. John's, Newfoundland & Labrador. (Aimee Nicole Photography)

Clare Follett is only 18 years old but she's already released her second album, Reclamation. To make it, she did it all - writing, producing, singing, and playing several instruments. 

Follett called into the weekly local music show East Coast Music Hour recently to chat with host Bill Roach, and perform two songs live from her home studio in St. John's, NL. 

Listen: Clare Follett on East Coast Music Hour

The Collaborative Process of Making Reclamation

Despite her lengthy credits, Follett says making her second album was a much more collaborative process than she's used to. She worked with acclaimed Newfoundland folk musician Nick Earle and his band, The Reckless Hearts. And, Roach points out, there are some other recognizable names too — folks from beloved Newfoundland bands Quote the Raven and Fairgale make appearances. 

"Something that I've been working on a lot is taking other people's ideas," Follett says. "For a long time, I would just sit and record stuff and nobody would hear it until it was completely finished." 

"Working with other people on this record made a really big difference to the way that the songs turned out."

Coming of Age as a Songwriter — and a Person

Clare was awarded MusicNL Rising Star of the Year in 2017 following the release her self-produced debut album. Now she's back with a follow-up, Reclamation. (Alick Tsui)

First, Follett performed "This Love", a song that displays her incredible vocal range and lyrics that are wise beyond her years. "It's a song about realizing that you're not what's best for your partner, and although you care about them you know that it's best to let them go," Follett says. "You know that you just want them to be happy, and you're willing to put yourself through the pain of the end of the relationship for them." 

Follett says she's been writing her own songs since she was 11 or 12 years old. "Over time I started recording and making the recordings more and more intricate."

She says her lyrics have evolved since she released her first album at just 15 years old. "A lot of the lyrics talk about my first relationship, and that coming of age stuff. I like to think that I'm a little more mature than I used to be when it comes to lyrics, but of course I still am trying to recognize that I am very young. Maybe for some people, [listening] would be more of a nostalgic thing." 

Being a Lifelong Student of Music

In addition to working on her solo music, Follett loves working with other artists as a producer or side musician. "I really like to be able to reach into a couple different facets of the industry," Follett says. She also studies music in school, which demands time and attention. "Music is a pretty big part of my life no matter what," Follett says. But that's nothing new. 

Music has been around me for my entire life. It was a very important part of how I was raised, it was always a very important part of my family.- Clare Follett

Follett closed out her session on East Coast Music Hour by performing Crashing Cars. "Crashing Cars is a song that compares a relationship that comes together and falls apart really fast to the adrenaline and eventual comedown from a really bad car crash," Follett says. "It kind of encapsulates what the whole album is about." 

Listen: Hear Clare Follett perform two songs from her new album on East Coast Music Hour