The Third Woman is Clare’s debut solo album. Her songs are intriguingly story-based, from the homely tale of two crosswalk attendants falling in love (Lollypop Man), to the fantastic vision of Clare playing in a bar on a distant asteroid (Sirens Call To Arms). Moreover, her voice, heard alone here for the first time, is sometimes exotic, sometimes prosaic, but always truly distinctive.
Musically the record provides nods of appreciation in many different directions, from the sounds of 80’s synth-pop, to the grumpy romanticism of Serge Gainsbourg, to the gritty country of Bobby Gentry (whose version of Mose Allison’s Parchman Farm is covered here), to the sweeping soundtracks of John Barry. All eleven tracks were produced and played almost entirely by Clare (the only other players being Bill Miller and Dave Graney, who each contribute a little guitar).
Special attention should be given to the album’s closing track, Yes! Fat Chicks, although really it draws attention to itself. If Mad Max had been written by Germaine Greer, John Waters and Valerie Solanas and produced for ABC Radio, it might have gone a little like this. Yes! Fat Chicks is the tale of two lusty women on the open road, preying on unsuspecting suburban P-Platers. There has been nothing like it before, and there will be nothing like it again, for Yes! Fat Chicks will go down in history as the most bizarre and compelling song ever recorded!