Review Summary: Indie-pop with folk and rock influences, Cloud Control craft a strong EP that shows a confident, mature band ready to go on to great things.
There’s certainly something interesting about Cloud Control, something out of the ordinary. To a certain extent it’s quite difficult to pick out the exact quality that makes their self-titled EP such an intriguing listen; Obviously there’s Alister Wright’s high, slightly hazy vocal style (nicely complimented by Heidi Lenffer on backing vocals), but there’s also his guitar playing that switches from laid back to rocking out with ease, or is it the surprisingly prominent bass that mumbles along coolly?
You’re probably starting to see a trend here. There’s a very casual atmosphere on Cloud Control
, a sense that the only reason the band exists is to just get together and have a good jam session. They even admit it on the first song, “We’re not likely to make a profit anyway”. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not as if care hasn’t been taken; these are all well crafted songs that have obviously had time put into them. It’s just that the end result is not something that needs to be dissected and taken apart but rather its something that should be enjoyed in the same way it was created, lightly.
“In Your World” is a brilliant example of this with its laid back electric guitar, mildly distorted bass and dreamy vocals. The song rolls along at a leisurely pace, never picking up too much speed but never slowing down lazily either. It conjures images of care-free summer days spent relaxing with mates, a vibe that wouldn’t have been out of place on a Strokes album. However, to avoid being lumped alongside the scores of other artists already playing that brand of rock the band also demonstrate their ability to produce a pleasing folk tune. “Fine Teacher” showcases rhythmic, finger-picked acoustic guitar work that bounces along behind Wright and Lenffer’s almost ethereal vocal melody, while a short piano melody pops up every now and again.
Still, that doesn’t answer the original question, what exactly makes Cloud Control
such an interesting listen? Really it’s a combination of all the aforementioned characteristics. That’s where the band has really succeeded. They’ve brought together a nice mix of styles and made it work. Jeremy Kelshaw’s fuzz-box bass works on its own, but it sounds even better when it’s supporting Wright’s rambling guitar melodies. The latter’s vocals actually contrast the rest of the band, but in an interesting, dynamic way. And of course the folk touches just enhance the feeling that the band knows what they’re doing and are happy to explore their abilities.
Cloud Control have made their mark on the Australian Indie music industry with a strong EP that shows a confident, mature band ready to go on to great things. With plenty of space left to expand upon their folk influences, the band has ensured a clear path for their musical career. Ultimately though, it’s up to them to decide whether they’ll follow that path or diverge from it in any way.