Band Appreciation Friday – Cloud Boat

Please someone will you let me in?

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Cloud Boat mainly embraces the ideas of spirituality, isolation, and alienation in their music, which is why, at first listen, it can seem a little too heavy on the senses. Their lyrics ponder over the feelings of trying to understand a world that constantly changes, and that search for meaning is what truly makes UK duo Tom Clarke and Sam Ricketts a genuine force to be reckoned with.

51CUA9OQBML._SL500_AA280_Model of You (2014), in a word, is solemn. However, there’s a constant reminder that lurks deep, deep beneath the hazy, grime covered surface that just because the world has pain and sorrow and retribution, it’s the whole reason that hope and happiness can exist and affect our lives in the same, but positive way. Each song attempts to soothe and pacify a different tortured soul burdened with varying ideas, and the vocals themselves are chant-like, almost like a part of some ancient ritual. “Prelude” starts the album off with overlapping guitar and synthesized beats, almost simulating the effect of sound bouncing off narrow walls and echoes with intense power. It’s a strong start, but at little over a minute, it leaves the audience wanting more. “Hideaway” definitely delivers, with pounding drums and buzzing guitars, and everything from the instrumentals and the vocals reminisces back to the post-rock era. “Carmine,” the album’s single, is definitely the most stark, unsettling, yet oddly beautiful track. The simplicity of the music itself meshes with the personal, soul-uncovering lyrics, and the result is a song that makes you squirm in your seat. It brings up issues, feelings, and emotions that you thought you buried long, long ago and makes you face them head on. However, that forced realization is what makes the song so gorgeous. “Portraits of Eyes” and “Aurelia” make me think that they were songs on some old Depeche Mode B-sides that were left out, and that is mainly from each track’s outstanding vocal performances. They’re passionate, foreboding, and cataclysmic, and that intertwining of ideas is what raises them into the album’s best songs. “Bricks Are For” is slow, soft, and eerie, and the instrumentals give off a feeling of detachment and unease. “Golden Lights” is the closest thing to a happy song that you will get from Cloud Boat. Right at the half-way point, its a brief, piano filled moment of unencumbered joy before returning to grave emotions once again. “All Of My Years” once again proves the distinctive way Cloud Boat portrays emotion – with a seemingly unfinished, unbalanced instrumentals and a sullen vocal that, in a way, seems more hopeful than depressing. “Hallow” is the perfect closer, with the lyrics “model of you” repeated over and over, in that chant-like way that makes it all seem so wonderfully entrancing. Cloud Boat will succeed in making you think about the deeper things in life and effectively envelops you in a gauzy, lush sound that is sure to enchant and mesmerize you. However, rather than shove these ideas and experiences in your face all at once, Cloud Boat’s music remains in an accessible place where you are free to ease in at your own volition.

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