When one thinks about indie-folk what is actually thought about? Nothing much, really, I guess. Perhaps Fleet Foxes, maybe Mumford and Sons. In less than six month’s time will it be Cloud Control that people are talking about?
Hailing from down-under, this indie-folk band from the Blue Mountains near Sydney are definitely up-and-coming. Cloud Control have supported Supergrass and Foo Fighters and have now reached UK shores in time for our summer months with hot debut album, Bliss Release.
When the premier track opens it’s an acoustic guitar riff, not too dissimilar to The Shins, followed by what could be described as a folk choir. Okay, so far so interesting, you may think, but then it is soon obvious that it is the harmonies that the music is based around. After the electric guitar sneaks in, and it makes itself known with the percussion it becomes a noise that just sets your synapses alight.
This old, yet strangely new sound is soon followed by Cloud Control’s first UK single release, ‘There’s Nothing In The Water We Can’t Fight’. There’s a catchiness that creeps up on you. How the track is so simply layered, coupled with a hint of the use of “oh-ohhs” makes it a great single. ‘Death Cloud’ is relatively modern in comparison to the 60s/70s hippy sound that resonates throughout Bliss Release. A groovy bass-line and ‘train track’ rhythm provides a basis to move your feet, whilst a peculiar set of lyrics, mentioning wives, gnomes and UFOs really paints a picture of the psychedelic rock that Cloud Control are reviving singlehandedly.
Fitting in well is my personal favourite ‘Ghost Story’. A hippy feel with such a mysterious and different sound that makes you feel like you’re swimming around in honey, there’s a particular lyric that does exactly what it describes. “…felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand up!” It works, especially with the burst of drums and guitar in overdrive. ‘Ghost Story’ is a fantastic track that is the glue that binds the album together. The essence of the record.
This album of jangly indie-pop perfection does start to drop off after the initial supernova of awesome, sounding repetitive, redeemed by a couple of high points in the form of ‘This Is What I Said’. An exciting summer anthem worth dancing in a field for. And the enchanting ‘Hollow Drums’, the token acoustic track of sheer brilliance. However the lacklustre finale to the album lacks the expected punch and is a disappointment.
Reminiscent of the 70s, Cloud Control has created something unique for the time that they should be proud of. A tiny bit samey throughout, with some high points and low points, but all in all this is an essential purchase for those looking for something a little different. If you want to be left with a massive smile on your face and something to clap along to, this is definitely the album for you. One for the summer playlist.
Good: Epic harmonies, something different, a summer soundtrack.
Bad: Tiny bit repetitive, starts to tail off, slight anticlimax.
Recommendation: Request Cloud Control’s latest single, ‘This Is What I Said’, on Surge – Your Student Soundtrack!