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Cloud Control

Shadowboxing

Aug 22, 2013 Cloud Control Bookmark and Share


“Songs don’t come particularly easy for us. We are not prolific writers, so when an idea comes I really don’t question it too hard,” confesses Cloud Control co-bandleader Heidi Lenffer. “It’s more like trying to quickly sketch the colors of a bubble before it pops.”

And sometimes, when you’re lost in the flow of the creative process the big themes sneak up on you. That was the lesson that the Australian quartet (Alister Wright, Heidi Lenffer, Jeremy Kelshaw, and Ulrich Lenffer) learned while recording their sophomore album Dream Cave.

“We had written the album,” Heidi recalls. “We were sitting with the songs for a good year. And then we had to name it. In the end, we ended up taking the title from one of the songs that had been written. I had been thinking a lot about Plato’s philosophy, and reading some of these books, and toying with the idea of the ignorant cave dweller wanting to see what life was really about, and only being able to access reality by the shadows that were illuminated on the wall of the cave by the fire light. So I was thinking how often we live our lives according to other people’s beliefs … and then for Alister to write a song about dream cave actually tied in metaphorically and philosophically with the ideas that I had been playing with without him. I was quite bemused. We all loved how evocative the title was and how it was an aesthetic we had been going for.”

The idea of self-exploration and philosophy permeates nearly every song of the album. Heidi points to “Island Living” where, interwoven between guitar lines that split the difference between My Bloody Valentine and Cocteau Twins, Wright sings the telling line, “There are things in this world where the truth can hurt you.”

“I think that the one of the key attributes of humans that has made us such a successful dominant species, evolutionarily speaking, is our capacity for self-delusion,” Heidi reflects. “Most people employ this at the meta-level narrative of their life, in translating the things that happen to them or the things they pull off in a way that reflects favorably on their life decisions and affirms the outcomes, whether or not an alternate analysis might be more correct. This inherently positive self-bias acts in our favor, allowing us to back ourselves, believe in our abilities, and take risks based on this optimism. Of course you can take this too far either way and end up with poor mental health.”

Still, all the heady themes shouldn’t distract from the fact Dream Cave is — at its base —an incredibly enjoyable album. Heidi is equally as thoughtful when it comes to describing the music as she is lyrics and philosophy, emphatically noting that the band was hoping to write songs “to attempt to immerse the listener in a way that lets them leave their troubles on the back-burner for 3 minutes.”

A collection that blends pop, rock, shoegaze, and 1960s psychedelia into a dense musical cloud, Dream Cave does just that. The word “atmospheric” is one way to describe their songs, but the band has also often hears the word nostalgic applied to their work.

“I think this has to do perhaps with the warmth we try to put into our records — be that via the treatment of our vocal sound and preference for chorused guitar and an honest bass tone,” Heidi musses. “Someone once suggested that we were a very honest band. And I think musically we are. We also don’t steal stuff!”

(www.facebook.com/cloudcontroller)



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