ALBUM REVIEW: Cloud Control is Back in the Zone
Zone is raw control over a new sound, created in Cloud Control’s own time, space and leisure. Coming after the loss of bassist Jeremy Kelshaw, the album — 3 years in the making, as crafted by Alister Wright, Heidi and Ulrich Lenffer — provides audiences with an undeniable masterpiece that explores a complex and comprehensive new sound.
Self-produced (largely by Wright), the final product was described as an accumulation of experiences, ideas and experiments. Wright recounts the process saying:
“I got to make it the way I always wanted to, the way I always felt like the music should sound.”
Lenffer describes the freedom of “buying all our own gear this time, recording the album, producing it, mixing it ourselves”, to have it become "a powerful force”. The ebullience of 'Rainbow City', slow jams of 'Goldfish', and even the blissful hedonistic aspect of Sydney highlighted in 'Lights on the Chromes' all describe their motto:
“We’re not trying to be any one thing, we’re not trying to appeal to anyone in particular.”
Their locations became paramount to the construction and creation of their songs. Writing in over five locations, the band's production was undeniably chaotic. Through break-ins and storms, laying by in their old school headmaster's house and even in a fan’s garage, the album was slowly and gradually pieced together. 'Zone (This Is How It Feels)' became the mantra for the band — a culmination of the hardships that they faced; a track produced solely on the synergy of the band and an all encompassing hit to tie the diverse album together.
The new sound that the now-trio have produced has become grittier; a different sound defining their new combination of musicians. It’s raw, and it’s open. It’s relaxed, but it’s rough — enough to hook listeners on such an emotional sound that reflects just how unified the new Cloud Control worked to be.
While the absence of Kelshaw may have been a blow to the band, the outcome produced Cloud Control’s “most cohesive, complex and personal release to date". The production of 'Zone (This It How It Feels)', the title song of the album, is described as “profound but also flippant, euphoric but conceptual; spaced out layers of looped sounds and samples, with an anthemic, driving melody that's outrageously fun to sing to… It's the mark of a producer who can make the meticulous seem effortless, and three musicians working together at their best.”
It elucidates what Cloud Control can do, in all of their creativity and musicality, in their desire to say what they want to say, to sound how they want to sound. They are newer, and they are different — but above all? They are still Cloud Control.