Ooh, I smell the next Arcade Fire. And I’m a lazy critic for saying that. But seriously, when this came on my iPod, I just assumed it was Win Butler and company before I looked at the screen. Cloud Cult does the orchestral wall of sound thing pretty well, and their lyrics are puzzling and infused with a slight air of tragedy. The record was born out a horrible trauma; in 2002, founder and front man Craig Minowa’s two-year-old son unexpectedly passed away. Many of the songs address the loss directly, from the harrowing ‚”Your 8th Birthday” to the questioning ‚”Purpose.” There are also a plethora of references to the meaning of the number in eight in different mythologies and religious traditions; it’s slightly pretentious, but at least it’s different. Try to ignore all the wanking about environmentally friendly touring and the like, and focus on the fact that the band, after 12 years of flying under the radar, are about to break out big time.
The CD won’t be in stores until April 10, but can be purchased online at http://www.cloudcult.com/.
Mp3s at: http://www.myspace.com/cloudcult and Stereogum.