Sunny days for Cloud Control
CLOUD Control have unveiled their second studio album – the follow up to their award-winning 2010 debut, Bliss Release.
The band emerged on the music scene with their anthemic-folk local debut showcasing songs such as Gold Canary and There’s Nothing in the Water We Can’t Fight.
The follow-up Dream Cave takes the band’s sound in a new direction with the four-piece experimenting with electronic swashes and compressed hip hop beats which they describe as a ‘‘Beastie Boys sound.’’
Drummer Ulrich Lenffer says the new elements showcase the band’s ability to let go of what they ‘should be’ and take hold of what they have.
‘‘Half the problem in bands with recording is making decisions,’’ he says.
‘‘On this record we haven’t so much been taking risks as just not denying ourselves. What you choose not to write is as important as what you do write.
‘‘We needed something – there were a lot of influences or vibes we didn’t flirt with enough last time, but in this record we have. It wasn’t a deliberate decision, it was something that just happened.
‘‘Our lead singer Al (Alister Wright) had a distinct vision for the single Dojo Rising. He said he wanted it channel the Beastie Boys. We set up the space with a couple of room mics then compression crunched it up and it sounds awesome.’’
Inspiration for the 11-track record came from a band trip to a little French island, jamming in a London studio and even recording back-up vocals in an actual cave.
‘‘This time the songwriting process was pretty varied,’’ he says.
‘‘Sometimes Al will have a whole song, sometimes just a chorus and then we flesh it out around him and other times they come about from us all jamming.
‘‘We went to this French island and just hung out for a couple of weeks, but it wasn’t as productive as we’d hoped.
‘‘The first day we set up all our gear and were super excited. We started playing for half an hour and in that time the police were called twice and someone was throwing stones at the window. It was pretty funny we were ‘that’ band – that delinquent group of youth,’’ he joked.
Despite the moodier tones and warm but haunting lyrics in tracks such as Scar, Happy Birthday and Dojo Rising, Ulrich insists it isn’t some form of break-up album.
‘‘None of us have really experienced a break-up.’’ he says. ‘‘The lyrics I think are varied and like all artwork people can interpret it how they like and it could mean something completely different to the listener compared to why it was written.’’
The album begins with the backwards sounding vocals, hand claps, distorted guitar and compressed drums of Scream Rave before gliding into the hauntingly-catchy single Dojo Rising. Moon Rabbit is featured part way through as the classic ’60s pop Beatles-esque sound Cloud Control is known for with dual vocals, tambourines and catchy ba-ba-bas written by back-up vocalist and keyboard player Heidi Lenffer, Ulrich’s sister. ‘‘ Moon Rabbit was a Heidi special – she was just trying to write a good melody,’’ Ulrich says.
The strongest tracks Scar and Happy Birthday come in at tracks six and seven, coated with the stuff of future singles, while the closing track and namesake Dream Cave takes the band back into pre-nineties bliss.
Cloud Control’s members, originally from the Blue Mountains, met in school.
Cloud Control and Palms play the Coolangatta on August 22. Tickets are $24.
Blue Mountains 1960s psych pop band Cloud Control