Apr 2014 13

The Clouds are Ghosts - FracturesThe Clouds are Ghosts
Category: Electro-pop / Ambient
Album: Fractures
Stars: 4.5
Blurb: The latest album from The Clouds are Ghosts further demonstrates this Texan band’s immense talent with excellent songwriting and virtuosic musicianship.


When The Clouds are Ghosts released the Harbinger EP in 2011, this writer surmised that the title would be an appropriate indicator of better things to come from this eminently talented band. With the release of Fractures, it can be very confidently said that The Clouds are Ghosts has surpassed itself and then some. Bringing a lush mixture of electrified pop hooks with ambient rock energy, the band has grown not only in size with the addition of three members since the last release, but also in the depths of sonic and melodic exploration.

A sullen guitar backed by a ghostly ambience introduces the album on “54;” Earl Bowers’ relaxed and efficient drumming enters with Erin Fillingame’s exquisite piano work complementing the guitars, before Jason Morris’ soaring vocals enter. Not enough good can be said about this man’s vocal prowess as in the chorus he reaches those notes stridently, his accompanying harmony layers adding to the song’s ethereal cadence and making for a strong start to Fractures. In a similar fashion, “Marionettes” begins with a somber and slow beat, the distant wails of guitar feedback and crashes of cymbals creating a dreamlike effect with an almost Sahara-like flair. Before long, the song picks up in speed, the pianos and guitars cooperating to invoke a lush psychedelic atmosphere as Morris’ impassioned vocals continue to elevate the song to heights of emotional intrigue. “Angelface” is also notable for its infusion of jungle-like shuffle beats and intricate arrangements and progressions that could easily classify the band on the periphery of prog rock, while Fillingame’s morose piano sonata on “Running Dream,” the slides and chimes of the guitars reverberating in a manner evocative of U2’s The Edge, is simply delightful. The fluidity of Morris’ vocal harmonies on “Leaman” creates a serenity usually reserved for slide guitar in some ‘60s psychedelic haze, the layers of synthesized arpeggios interplaying with the shimmering guitars and trip-hop drums to create a swirling bit of dream rock on tracks like “Tinkle” and “Singularity,” while “Decimeters” closes Fractures out with a lushly ambient instrumental mélange and a vocal melody so tuneful that one can’t help but sing along.

There is a cinematic quality underlying each song, as if each song is a soundtrack to a great work of drama, which only calls more attention to the musical and lyrical poetry at play on Fractures. The songs evolve in an organic fashion that allows both audience and band to sink in and absorb every nuance. While the band’s first album was hardly limited by the use of programmed drums, the live percussion on Fractures simply adds to the band’s organic nature, further augmented by the tasteful incorporation of subtle electronics. As ever, each member plays his or her respective instrument with virtuosic passion, every element coming together to form a rather beautiful whole that is The Clouds are Ghosts’ music, a band that deserves far more recognition than it receives.
Track list:

  1. 54
  2. Defense
  3. Leaman
  4. Marionettes
  5. Angelface
  6. Tinkle
  7. Singularity
  8. Lavender Hour
  9. Running Dream
  10. Decimeters

The Clouds are Ghosts Website http://www.cloudsareghosts.com
The Clouds are Ghosts Facebook https://www.facebook.com/cloudsareghosts
The Clouds are Ghosts Twitter http://twitter.com/cloudsareghosts
The Clouds are Ghosts Bandcamp http://thecloudsareghosts.bandcamp.com
Purchase at:
Amazon MP3
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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