The long-haired groovy guitar-playing guy Scott Cleary is not just that “guy in a band” anymore — he is now known as And That and more. Cleary’s latest single “I Am the Mirror” has just dropped and it is the perfect song to play for your lover when they’re begging for attention. His last EP THIS, in fact, was inspired by his wife who always joked he never writes about her. Jokes on her because now she’s got a whole EP, and this song sounds like another a love letter to her.
Cleary explains to us: “The core of the song is about how I feel like a lot of people in my life look to me to be the light (the candle) when in reality I feel more like the mirror.” So he sings, “I am not the candle you think that I am. The light that you see is coming from you.” It seems Cleary not only reflects light but absorbs it. We hear it in his music. The song is a warm track with bouncy guitar strumming and silvery vocals serving us all the good vibes.
We’re premiering the music video for “I Am the Mirror,” and it’s a constant shimmering in my mind. Cleary is decked out in a metallic suit in a metallic room with a metallic guitar singing away. And of course, the light is echoing all over the place. We follow him as he sparkles through Los Angeles and through a desert. We got to talk to the one-man band about moving across the world, searching for inspiration, and writing “I Am the Mirror.”
What sparked “I Am the Mirror?” What was the writing process like?
I had the melody and some alternative lyrics in place for a while. One day I was in a stationery store and saw the quote by Edith Wharton “There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” It stuck somewhere in my head and somehow attached itself to that melody. That’s when I really grabbed the idea of the candle vs. mirror and ran with it. The lyrics came very naturally when I applied it to my life — afraid of the responsibility to be “the light” to people, when really you feel like the mirror in the equation.
You’ve said your EP THIS was inspired by your wife. Did she see the process or was it a surprise?
Initially a big surprise when she first heard the sessions. At the start she was shocked and a little embarrassed to have the focus be on her. Those feelings gradually shifted into the desired goal which was something sweet and more of a romantic gesture.
Do you remember what initially got you into music? How have you evolved since then?
My parents bought me a guitar when I was 12 or something. I always loved music, but I didn’t really take to lessons and the guitar never held my attention for too long. My limited skills got me into a band with some friends when I was 18, and it quickly became a big part of my life. I spend the next 10 years being a “guy in a band.” If anything I’d evolved out of music until And That started in 2019. It was the first time I’d released anything that was all me: My music, me as the face and singer of the band, etc. It came at the right time for me and inspired me to start something on my own terms and really just focus on enjoying it.