Three years ago, Dublin trio Cloud Castle Lake released their gorgeous and wonderfully esoteric EP Dandelion. The short, yet tonally dense release had critics describing them as the close relative, even the brainchild of the likes of Radiohead and Sigur Rós, considering the complexity and acerbic unpredictability of their compositions, not to mention the intense, ethereal falsetto of frontman Daniel McAuley and the sophisticated manner in which he controls it from completely ascending into the ether. The album also featured the stunning, experimental track “Sync,” which was our song of the year in 2014 due to its sheer vulnerability, disguised under a rage of brass and orchestral instrumentals. Since then, they’ve added a drummer and started work on their debut album Malingerer, which turns away from the experimental post-rock aesthetic they began with and instead leans more towards the raw complexity of jazz, and, according to the band, “juxtaposes lyrical darkness and despair with an almost euphoric catharsis.” Though that could be said for their entire discography up to this point, “Twins” seems like the true epitome of that statement, with McAuley enduring what seems like every human emotion to an incessant, brawny menagerie of bright, colorful jazz instrumentals provided by Rory O’ Connor (bass), Brendan William Jenkinson (guitar), and Brendan Doherty (drums). Their unique strength lies in their ability to perfectly marry two highly stylistically complex elements to the point that it not only works, but transforms into something else entirely – like a performance art piece that requires every part of your being in order to truly interact with it. Whatever it is they’re attempting to convey, no matter how dark or emotionally purgative, two things are certain – it’s absolutely beautiful, and we need more of it.
photo courtesy of artist