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. Today’s song, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Dojo Rising” by Cloud Control from the 2013 album Dream Cave on Votiv.
Friends first, bandmates next. It doesn’t work for everyone, but for Australia’s Cloud Control, those early bonds helped the band earn early accolades, garner numerous awards - including their first, a college battle of the bands competition, which they won - and create a debut album that radiated pure joy. As soon as Bliss Release made it to KEXP’s doorstep in 2010, it was immediately added to our heavy rotation.
“Sometimes people will say we sound similar to a certain band but they can never agree on which band”, they write in their self-composed press bio. No doubt, since hearing their music is such a pleasurable experience, those bands are always ones listeners also love. Cloud Control certainly do have their indie rock predecessors, and that they’re from Australia only emphasizes their jangly psych rock tendencies, but they manage to remain just off-kilter enough to stand out among the fashionably folky bands of today. Whatever you call it, theirs is the kind of music that makes you want to be outside in the sun, or, if you’re in Seattle like us, makes you remember what it’s like to be out there.
On their latest album, Dream Cave (released in the U.S. by Seattle’s own Votiv label), Cloud Control digs a bit deeper and explores newer ground for them, venturing into sometimes darker and sometimes harder territory, but as with today’s featured song, “Dojo Rising”, they never lose sight of the joy that listeners were first drawn to and that new listeners will be thrilled by now.
This summer, Cloud Control made their first appearance in Seattle, but if you missed them, don’t fret. They’ll be back in town on Wednesday, January 15, returning to Barboza. You can get tickets here and find out more about the band on their website and Facebook page. You can watch them perform during their in-studio session at KEXP in August here and this impromptu acoustic session, captured by the good folks at Votiv, here: