Singled Out: Scott Clay's Chief Joseph

Keavin Wiggins

Sep 23, 2022

I was visiting my good friend Simon Phillips in Vancouver, British Columbia and saw the book on his bookshelf. Simon let me borrow a copy, and I delved into it and was completely captivated by the story. Having grown up in Eastern Washington State, where some of the history of this book took place, I could truly visualize so much of what the book had to offer.

Scott Clay is the best artist you may not have heard of yet. And now you have. With music that is sonically and emotionally deep, Clay’s brand new album, “Let It All Lay Bare” (out now), does just what its title suggests, laying open Clay’s heart and soul for all to explore and experience. His immense love of nature and the outdoors — as evidenced by his glorious music videos shot in national parks in multiple US states (check out the clip for “Aurora” that accompanies this feature) — feeds his music, too, and his hikes and treks into the wilderness have given him an open-air songwriting location and feel-good vibes that will calm the most stressed listener. It’s a balm, and a gift, to all who listen.

VENTS sat down with Clay to talk about the new record, and we took a deep dive into the beauty and mystery that reverberates in the single “Aurora,” including its inspiration, and the writing and production process. We chatted about his sound, the impact that living in Nashville has had on his music, and what’s next for this fantastic artist.

Hi Scott, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

I’ve been a busy guy! This year has been dedicated to touring in the effort of getting the new album launched and shared with as many fans as possible. It’s been such an inspiring year of meeting people, sharing the stage with many talented musicians, and getting to further explore the US.

You have an amazing new album that just came out. What can you tell us about it? How did you come to gather this collection of songs together?

Thank you! I’m so proud of this album and am very excited to see it finally being released. Some of this project was brand new material that I was working through completing at the beginning of our tracking sessions. Other material was leftover songwriting that I had wanted to record on my 2020 album, “Time Will Tell.” And further material had been recorded on an older solo album called “Fools Journey,” and I had been waiting to track with a full band.

One of the songs on your new album, “Aurora,” is really special and caught my attention right away. It’s a great listen. Can you talk to us more about this song? How did you come to write it? What was the inspiration behind it?