Cloud: Top 5 Influences and Digs

Cloud influences Plays with Fire album review

Photo credit: Carson Lund

Following the release of his new EP ‘Plays with Fire‘, Cloud talks us through the top five influences for the song ‘Mary Goes Mad Again’ and highlights five songs he’s enjoying right now…
This is something that an artist should never do, but I’m going to do it anyway. Here are the secret little quotes from some of my favorite songs slipped into my tune called ‘Mary Goes Mad Again’ revealed to you dear reader. 
Inspired by
1 – Strawberry Switchblade – ‘Who Knows What Love Is
There is such color in this music.  It so perfectly evokes a dreamy state of mind and the dual vocals coming in and out are a lovely touch. I also love the imagery and the sort of ironic cartoonishness of it.
2 – The Smiths – ‘Stretch out and Wait
This is the pristine recording quality that I aspire to reach some day.  The tone of the guitar and brush drums is everything that I can dream of. I also love the reverberated double hits on the tambourine.
3 – Cocteau Twins – ‘Little Spacey
The textures in this song make me want to be a real human being again.  It’s so perfectly obscured so as to allow endless detail! The album cover is a perfect analog to the sound. It’s also such a light nursery rhyme
4 – ‘My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean
I’ve never heard this recording but if you search for this tune on Youtube you’ll find really silly results.  “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean” is a traditional Scottish folk song that acts as sort of a nursery rhyme in my memory of it.  I really enjoy nursery rhymes and think that they have a place in my world of psychedelic memory and existential/mental angst.  You can hear that the refrain “Mary Goes Mad Again” loosely borrows from the same refrain. I enjoy this use of vague familiarity, I hope you find it inviting.
5 – The Avalanches – ‘The Noisy Eater
It’s not this song specifically but The Avalanches in general for their use of sound design and audio clips in their music to create a sense of space and also to spin through the rolodex of your nostalgia and memory.  This practice was used on the previous record Zen Summer a bit more and only comes back at the end of the Plays with Fire endeavor.
Five songs I like right now
1 – Ted Auletta – ‘Quiet Village
The first track on this record is an exotica staple.
2 – The Replacements – ‘Androgynous
This is the best song. It makes me feel like I’m in a John Hughes film with John Candy. Love Paul’s voice in this one and the quality of the piano is recorded quite nicely.
3 – Oren Pine – ‘On A Beach’
I just wrapped production on my first feature film currently entitled Ham on Rye. One night on set we were filming in the San Fernando Valley, illegally, on the streets.  This young man Oren Pine passed by. I asked him if he was a part of our production (I truly didn’t know) he said no.  We were silent for a moment. I asked him his name, he said “Oren Pine.”  I asked him if he wanted to help out on the film, he ended up working the remaining week of the shoot with us and appearing in the film. This is his first record. It’s incredible. ‘On a Beach’ is a modern classic.
4 – Queen – ‘Father To Son
The best Queen song on the best Queen album. Turn it loud and enjoy it.  It gets me every time. Sometimes I even cry.
5 – Lush – ‘I Have The Moon
Yes, it is better than The Magnetic Fields version and yes it does appear in one of my ALL TIME favorite films Nowhere by Gregg Araki. I haven’t found much luck by way of romance in the last few years but damn did I find love in this movie which I’ve seen over and over and over. It has my heart and this song is pure evidence to its utter bliss.  Thank you, Gregg Araki.
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