Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday, we offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Unexplainable Stories” by Cloud Cult from their forthcoming album Light Chasers on Earthology Music.
Cloud Cult began in 1995 as the solo project of one Craig Minowa of Minneapolis, Minnesota. After recording a series of demos Minowa recruited a diverse cast of artists to assist in the spread his experimental music. Often categorized as “baroque pop” Cloud Cult’s sound is an elegant mix of atmospheric rock n roll, dream-pop and electronica. Featuring wife and painter Connie Minowa and Scott West (who both create paintings live at the band’s performances), cellist Sarah Young, violinist Shannon Frid, bassist Shawn Neary (Tapes ‘n’ Tapes), drummer Arlen Peiffer, and keyboardist Sarah Elhardt (also on french horn), Cloud Cult is more of an experience than band — it’s the kind of music that enters at the ear, pumping warmly through through the heart, out to the ends of each and every capillary. In short, this beautiful music will melt you into the floor. “Unexplainable Stories” envelops immediately — surrounding the listener in a comforting mist of cello and horns. In much the same vein as Anticon artists like Alias & Why?, “Unexplainable Stories” narrows the gaps between a multitude of genres and periods in musical history. Robotic drum beats over blissfully bowed strings blur the lines between hip-hop and shoegaze. Emotive horns, layered keys and Minowa’s accessible vocals split the difference between too much and not enough, finding a common ground between the abstract minimalism of post-rock and the prototypical structures of folk, rock ‘n’ roll and pop.
“Unexplainable Stories” can be found on Cloud Cult’s newest album, Light Chasers, which will be released on September 17 through Minowa’s own Earthology Records. I think it’s also important to point out that Earthology was the first 100% green, fully sustainable record label, powered by geothermal energy, producing CD’s and t-shirts from recycled materials, and donating all profits to environmental charities. Intelligent thought-provoking music and conscientious thinking — what more could you possibly ask for?
Cloud Cult plays The Showbox on September 18 — go see them. If you’re not in Seattle, check their website and MySpace page for dates… and if somehow you’re still on the fence, this video from one of the last times they were in town ought to convince you: