Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part 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 Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Meditation Song #2 (Why, Oh Why)” by Cloud Control from their 2011 album Bliss Release on Ivy League Records.
The Blue Mountains are a breathtaking attraction just west of Sydney, Australia. As it’s called “the city within a world heritage national park,” it isn’t any wonder how such hypnotic, earthy psychedelic folk could be born there. Cloud Control, whose members grew up together in the small tourist-heavy city, came to be when Heidi Leffner, Alister Wright, and Ulrich Leffner entered a band competition. Despite thinking they were no good, the group kept at it and soon enough were collecting the Australian Music Prize (the Aussie equivalent for UK’s Mercury Prize) for their debut LP, Bliss Release.
“Meditation Song #2 (Why, Oh Why)” opens with a slightly hypnotizing, eerie, wavering Neil Youngish falsetto amid a psychedelic/folk drone, then rips apart when the guitars go electric and unravels with syncopated injections of guitar and baseline, finally to be sewn together again with rhythmic hand clapping and “make my head a pool of water” calling from heavenly vocals by Heidi Leffner and repeated by Alister Wright. And that’s just a taste of the album that’s full of trippy psych-rock, anthemic folk-pop, tropical rhythms, and lots of hooks.
Come mid-February, Cloud Control will be hitting up a few spots in Europe, but still no word on when the U.S. gets any love. Stay tuned to their website for tour updates, videos, and other news from Down Under. In the meantime, watch the video for “Meditation Song #2 (Why, Oh Why),” which was also their UK video debut: