You’ve probably never heard of local band, The Clouds Are Ghosts. Though, while you were blissfully unaware, they formed back in 2008 and released a self-titled debut in 2009. After rearrangements in band members and some time to get new material together, this band is back to release a sophomore record, Fractures, the sound of which will have you wondering just what have you been doing that was so important as to miss out on this band.
The very first track of this record, “54,” is enough to pose that question, alone. An infectious number, it grows from humble beginnings to a full on cinematic explosion of an ending. This “electronic pop” band, as they’ve dubbed themselves, open with clear piano riffs and the crisp vocals of Jason Morris, covering the bouncy piano and the simmering percussion with a nice top coat of pop gloss. As the song progresses, the group moves faster and grows in their sound, adding elements and Morris’ vocals pushes things forward; the build is catching, forcing you to pay attention to the music. It ends with some screaming guitar added to the mix in a final rise of sound and intensity that should have you jamming along.
As far as genre goes, it’s a little hard to pin The Clouds Are Ghosts in one defining sound group, as the songs go various places on this record. You have songs like “Angelface,” a slow mover that still has all the elements of a power pop ballad; delicate guitar and piano compliment Morris’ voice being stretched to its limits. A great addition to this song is the clacking percussion, putting the final little touch that pushes the song from simple to elegant. On the other hand, you have songs like “Tinkle,” in which I’m reminded a bit of Death Cab For Cutie, with an electronic twist. The synth that begins to run through the album gives it a cohesive transfer from the simmering pop grower that it started with through to its turn to electro slow jams. This works, for the most part, but I am left with a little longing for more tracks like “54,” toward the end of the record to spice things up from the leaning-towards-repetitive pattern they form.
Though this doesn’t detract altogether too much from The Clouds Are Ghosts sophomore release, and it definitely shouldn’t prevent you from listening to this record. I believe you’ll find something to enjoy on Fractures, and a new band to add to your collection of Austin Gems.