In House #1855: Cloud Cult's Meaning of 8; New Britt Daniel
It's one thing to be prolific but another entirely to be prolific and brilliant. Our occasional tendencies to engage in hyperbole aside, Minneapolis' Cloud Cult has been something close to both for the better part of the decade now, while still somehow managing to be kept under wraps like a special secret. With the release of Meaning of 8, the band's fifth full-length in the past seven years, their underground darling days may soon be at an end. The nineteen-track collection is a sprawling, stuffed to the gills festival of pop, at times so lyrically and musically dense that it's impossible to believe that it doesn't fall right over on its face. But no, Craig Minowa and friends succeed where so many have failed, and their pop pastiche brings to mind the best (and long-lost) moments of the Flaming Lips, the tribal righteousness of the Arcade Fire, the nearly unhinged lunacy of Modest Mouse. Songs like "Chemicals Collide," perhaps the best example of a pure pop song in 2007 this side of Peter, Bjorn & John's "Young Folks," literally beam with...we'll call it hope (and that's OK); "Please Remain Calm," meanwhile, suggests a Beta Band heir in the land of Sinclair Lewis. Meaning of 8 is a lot to take in at once, but it's a varied and captivating lot-- what more can you ask than that? The band that passes out environmentally-minded fact sheets at their gigs and looks like your college drama troupe just might be the emerging face of American indie-pop, and it's about time. Cloud Cult play two Montana dates this week, tonight in Bozeman and tomorrow night in Missoula, before heading for the west coast.
In House #1855.
Focus: New release from Cloud Cult, Meaning of 8, playing Montana shows tonight and tomorrow night, plus new music from Britt Daniel, The National, Pela, Modest Mouse, and more.
Cloud Cult, from Meaning of 8:
Spoon's Britt Daniel, from Bridging the Distance: A Portland Covers Compilation:
BONUS Vid- Cloud Cult's "Chemicals Collide":