Clare Maguire

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Clare Maguire
Maguire in 2015.
Background information
Born (1988-09-15) 15 September 1988 (age 30)
Solihull, West Midlands, England
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar, bass, piano, violin, autoharp
Years active 2008–present
Labels Polydor, Universal Republic[1] Republic
Associated acts The Streets, Chase & Status

Clare Rita Mary Maguire (born 15 September 1988) is a British singer-songwriter. She was signed to Universal Music Group, Polydor Records in 2009. She was rated in fifth place in the BBC Sound of 2011 list of the top 15 most promising new artists.[2] Maguire was also singled out as one of MTV's Brand New: For 2011 Acts.[3] Her voice has been compared to Stevie Nicks and Annie Lennox.[4] Maguire's debut album, Light After Dark, was released on 25 February 2011 peaking at number seven in the Official UK Top 40, and achieving the BPI Silver Sales Award in the UK.

In 2016 she announced the forthcoming release of her second album Stranger Things Have Happened on 27 May with the song "Elizabeth Taylor". The album is to be released on Virgin Records.

Career beginnings

When she was 17, Maguire began posting demo songs on MySpace. One of these tracks, "Strangest Thing", recorded with Joe Flory (Primary 1) reached 1,000,000 plays,[5] leading to interest from a number of major recording companies, and came to the attention of some of her favourite musical figures, most notably, Rick Rubin, who introduced her to Leonard Cohen in LA. And in London, Jarvis Cocker, who was impressed offered her one of his songs.[5] Maguire signed a recording contract with Polydor Records in 2009 and was persuaded to abandon her musical roots of folk and blues by her label A&R, culminating in working on her debut album Light After Dark with producer Fraser T Smith, who has previously worked with Kylie Minogue and Adele.[2]


2009–11: Light After Dark, commercial success and touring

Maguire began a European concert tour in October 2010 supporting Plan B and Hurts.[6] She has also written a song with fellow Birmingham rap artist Mike Skinner titled "Lock the Locks" which features on his last Streets album, Computers and Blues.[7] Maguire also features on the track "Midnight Caller" which appears on Drum and Bass-duo Chase & Status' second studio album, No More Idols.

Maguire released her debut single "Ain't Nobody" in the United Kingdom on 18 October 2010 through Polydor Records. A Breakage remix of the song was used in Renault's 2011 Clio commercial titled "What is Va Va Voom?".[8]

She then released her second official single, "The Last Dance". The single was said to have been written by Maguire the day after the death of music legend Michael Jackson in response to a series of unjustified comments on his legacy. The official video that accompanied the single was first premiered by The Sun on 7 January 2011 and was directed by AlexandLiane.[9] The song was 4Music and TheBox's 'VIP Track of the week' and was also 'Record Of The Week' for BBC Radio 1 DJs Fearne Cotton and Dev. BBC Radio 1 added the song to the B-List on its playlist.[citation needed]

Light After Dark went in at Number 7 in the official UK top 100 album chart (refer to previous link) and achieved BPI Silver Sales status in the UK.

2011–15: Clare Maguire EP, departure from Universal Republic Records

After an unhappy time promoting her debut album, Maguire entered rehab to treat her alcoholism. She then took time out of music, travelled to Nashville for a period, and on returning to London, got two mini dachshund's, Dilla and Lola, who she credits with helping center her as a person.[10] She then slowly began songwriting again, mainly on her own at home on the piano, alongside her sausage dogs, whilst eating lots of pizza.[11]

On 24 January 2013, Maguire released a new song demo called Happy Anniversary on her personal Soundcloud account. When posting the link on her Facebook page, Maguire stated "I thought I'd share this demo with you. This song was written after spending an evening with my ex, what was supposed to be a special occasion turned out to be a giant hazy dose of our morbid reality... love.x (sic)".[12]

On 27 March, Mike Skinner of The Streets revealed in a blog post he has been working with Maguire in the studios for "the past couple of days" and that they were hoping to release a hip hop blues album, if Maguire's label allowed her to.[citation needed] Maguire had earlier in 2012 worked with Skinner in his new music project, The D.O.T. by featuring on a track titled You Never Asked. The rap provided on the track was written and performed by rapper, Danny Brown..

On 10 June 2013, Maguire announced on Twitter that she was in the studio recording. She had been working in a studio called 'Studio XXVII' belonging to Dave Johnson, a friend of Maguire's, Alexander Burnett and Blue May. She has previously been seen in pictures in Johnson's studio recording material.

On 20 July 2013, as a celebration of 2 years of sobriety, Maguire released a demo titled Slightly Sober to her personal SoundCloud account. She stated of the song "2 years sober today, very fucking happy! Wanted to share this demo of one of my song to celebrate-New song next week (sic)" – The song is a bluesy ballad, which includes the lyrics: "It feels so nice to forget everything, pass me the roach, I'll smoke it down to the end" and features themes of alcohol and drug use. Along with this demo, Maguire stated that another demo would be released the following week.

On 25 July 2013, the previously promised song was released to Maguire's personal Soundcloud account. 'Paper Thin' is a song with heavy blues and jazz influences. The track was recorded at the previously mentioned 'Studio XXVII’ and produced by Blue May. It was voted Best Song of Week on Radio 1’s review show.[citation needed]

Maguire stated that 'more tracks' would follow, and a series of stripped back songs appeared, which were collated onto a free mixtape she gave away on her website.

Following this Soundcloud trend of testing new songs Clare released another track on 7 October 2013. This was a cover version of Ella Fitzgerald's 'Black Coffee'. It was premiered on Maguire's personal Soundcloud account and featured an instrumental with her returning dark and deep chesty vocals. An interview was also published with this track by The Fader.[13] In Maguire's first interview in 2 years, she speaks of how her mentoring and attendance to rehabilitation helped craft her music writing abilities stating "You can’t lie in there. You have to say it how it is."

The 13 January 2014 saw the release of the much anticipated, self-titled EP, Clare Maguire – The EP consisted of four previously released Soundcloud songs, Paper Thin, Black Coffee[disambiguation needed] (Cover), Whenever You Want It and a cover of The Last Time I Saw Richard. It was Maguire's first purchaseable material since the release of her third single from her debut album. Following the release of the EP, Maguire also released the aforementioned Mixtape containing 9 songs – 7 of which were previously released on her personal Soundcloud account. The two new songs were a cover of Nina Simone's Lilac Wine and a new production "In The Night".

Having previously been known to be working with her friend High Contrast, Friday 18 July saw the surprise release of a collaboration between Maguire and High Contrast. Who's Loving You (Part 2) was played on Annie Mac's live BBC Radio 1 show at 8pm, and was made the "Special Delivery" of the show. The song is the second and more experimental remix half of a single to be released, while "Who's Loving You (Part 1)" is a full track, dropping the majority of the drum and bass sound that Part 2 boasts. In the interview section of the BBC Radio 1 stream, High Contrast commented that Maguire is exactly like "The female Johnny Cash", Cash being one of Maguire's biggest influences.

2015–present: Don't Mess Me Around EP and Stranger Things Have Happened

Maguire released her second EP, Don't Mess Me Around, on 23 February 2015.

On 24 March 2016, Maguire released the lead single, "Elizabeth Taylor", from her second studio album, Stranger Things Have Happened, set to be released on 27 May 2016. The album features songs both previously heard before and new additions to the blues vibe that the album encompasses. [14][15]



Maguire has supported Hurts, Plan B and The Script, with her own headlining tour in March and April 2011.[16] The dates and locations of Clare's Headline tour for the album Light After Dark were:

25 March 2011 – Manchester, Band On The Wall.

26 March 2011 – Glasgow, King Tut's Wah Wah Hut.

28 March 2011 – Dublin, The Sugar Club.

30 March 2011 – Leeds, The Cockpit.

31 March 2011 – London, Kings College Student Union.

1 April 2011 – Bristol, Thekla.

3 April 2011 – Birmingham, Glee Club.

4 April 2011 – Nottingham, Glee Club.

5 April 2011 – Oxford, O2 Academy.

Awards and nominations

Year Organisation Nominated work Award Result
2010 BBC Sound of 2011[17] Clare Maguire Sound of 2011 Nominated
Fifth place
MTV Brand New[18] Clare Maguire New for 2011 Nominated
Q Awards[19] Clare Maguire Next Big Thing Won
2011 Glamour Women Of The Year Awards Clare Maguire UK Solo Artist/Musician Nominated
PANDORA Breakthrough Artist Nominated


  1. Clare Maguire signs to Universal Republic Records, Retrieved 2011-01-31.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Sound of 2011 Clare Maguire". BBC. Retrieved 29 December 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "MTV Clare Maguire". MTV. Retrieved 31 December 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "One To Watch : Clare Maguire". Retrieved 31 December 2010. |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 Lester, Paul (2010-10-13). "New Band of the day: Clare Maguire". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 December 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Tour dates". Clare Maguire. Retrieved 31 December 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Sullivan, Caroline (2010-12-23). "Clare Maguire, Katy B and the Pierces: pop's new queens in waiting". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 December 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Renault Clio – What Is Va Va Voom?". TV Ad Music.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Clare Maguire – Last Dance. Retrieved on 2011-01-07.
  10. Clare Maguire – Interview. Retrieved on 2016-04-29.
  11. Clare Maguire – Facebook. Retrieved on 2016-04-29.
  12. Clare Maguire – Facebook. Retrieved on 2016-04-29.
  13. Clare Maguire – The Fader, Interview. Retrieved on 2016-04-29.
  14. Day, Laurence (March 24, 2016). "Clare Maguire shares new single "Elizabeth Taylor", details new LP and UK shows". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved March 24, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. Murray, Robin (March 24, 2016). "Listen: Clare Maguire – 'Elizabeth Taylor'". Clash. Retrieved March 24, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. NME.COM. "Clare Maguire announces UK and Ireland tour – ticket details - NME.COM". NME.COM.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. Youngs, Ian. (2010-12-06) BBC News – BBC Sound of 2011: Clare Maguire. Retrieved on 2011-01-04.
  18. MTV's Brand New: For 2011 Acts Announced! | Brand New For 2011 | News | MTV UK. (2010-11-30). Retrieved on 2011-01-04.
  19. "Q Awards 2010: Winners List And Photos". 2010-10-25. Retrieved 31 December 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links