While most Aussies abroad cut loose by getting shitfaced and obnoxious, ‘Dream Cave’ finds Cloud Control letting go in a far more entertaining and respectable fashion. The new heirs to Tame Impala’s crown?
Having spent a fair chunk of the last couple of years stationed in the UK, Cloud Control’s reverb-soaked, harmony-heavy, 60s-psych second album feels like a work that’s been born out of the growth only time and distance away from home can bring.
‘Scream Rave’ opens the album with a blast of echo chamber harmonies – they come as a shock to the eardrums if you’re not prepared – before dissolving into first single ‘Dojo Rising’. That track’s bristly beat keeps kicking Alister Wright’s lethargic drawl along like it’s afraid he could nod off at any moment.
Buoyed by a bouncy bass line, ‘Moonrabbit’ gleams with sun-kissed harmonies and some uplifting “ba’s” (who doesn’t love a good “ba” singalong?), sounding authentically like a cut from the Hair soundtrack. ‘Island Living’ and ‘The Smoke, The Feeling’ take things into darker, more atmospheric territory. Both songs are textured with pulsating electronics.
‘Scar’ soars along with Wright and Heidi Lenffer sharing vocals in the chorus. ‘Happy Birthday’ sees the two trading vocals – Lenffer in the verses and Wright taking over for the chorus (which contains the brilliant line, “I hate my birthday, it’s true”). Some incidental party noise and a Byrdsian guitar solo appear out of nowhere and disappear just as quickly.
The haze shimmers off the jaunty guitar lines and heavy bass of ‘Ice Age Heatwave’. ‘Tombstone’ plays like the soundtrack to an indie Western thriller set in a wide, arid expanse. The title track closes out the album. It’s a haunting mid-tempo waltz that sounds like a long lost Roy Orbison tune. It ends with a field recording of water dripping down the rocks in a cave – a soothing end.
BY MICHAEL HARTT
Dream Cave is out now through Ivy League.