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. Every Friday, we feature a Northwestern artist. Today’s song, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Good Friend” by Cloud Cult from the 2013 album Love on Earthology.
You might think that for an indie rock band to paint a heart on their album cover and call it “Love,” they might as well have painted a big ol’ target on it for critics to hurl their aspersions. After all, what’s a bigger cliche than love? But for Craig Minowa and his band Cloud Cult, love is a philosophy and a way of life. As he says in the album’s inner album sleeve treatise, “a life lived with intention on Love is a life well spent.” Love, in fact, has not come easy for Minowa, who with his wife and bandmate Connie Minowa, lost their two year old son in 2002. Their resulting heartbreak, discord and reconciliation was supported by and helped fuel the band’s powerful resulting albums. Love, like those that came before it, is full of songs that channel positive energy, that strive for understanding, that bond us each to each other. And so it’s not surprising that song titles read like chapters in self-help books -- “You’re The Only Thing In Your Way,” “It’s Your Decision,” “Catharsis” -- because that’s essentially what they are... except the book here isn’t written by someone pretending to know more than you do but rather by someone walking in your own shoes, looking at the same stars, asking the same questions. Today’s featured song, “Good Friend,” is classic Cloud Cult, with vibrant rich orchestration, anthemic sing-along choruses and let’s-feel-good-in-this-often-shitty-world lyrics:
Oh, this life is so strange, you need a sense of humor
The maker is half caretaker and half joker
We are not broken ones...just shattered pieces of the same bright sun
Trying to figure out which way to run
As with the best of Cloud Cult, you won’t forget your problems or lose yourself while listening to their songs. Actually, the exact opposite will happen, and that’s a beautiful thing.
Cloud Cult will be back in Seattle very soon, performing at the Neptune Theatre on Monday, May 6th. You can find out more about their current tour and listen to more music on their website and Facebook page. For now, here’s the band performing “That Man Jumped Out the Window” live backstage at last year’s Sasquatch! Music Festival, recorded by KEXP and NPR Music: