Sunny days for Cloud Con­trol

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY CONTENTS - – JESSICA HUXLEY

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

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