North London duo charting singular course across dark waters
Cloud Boat are a duo – yes, a duo making electronic music; try not to act surprised – from North London. Tom Clarke and Sam Ricketts have so far released two accomplished albums and a raft of singles on various imprints including R&S and Apollo. That more or less makes them electronic music royalty round these parts.
Why Cloud Boat?
The pair bonded over electronic music, but got their start in various metal and post-rock groups. That sort of schooling gives their music a flexible, borderless feel, being neither rock nor electronic, and yet both at the same time. There’s a thwarted, unrequited feel to Clarke’s vocals, delivered with a vaguely naive folksiness while around him the music veers from jangly indie to clattering dubstep to synthy introspection to mutant club music, sometimes in the same song. Many bands have tried to fuse these elements together before, often with mixed results; Cloud Boat make its sound effortless. Let’s call it post-everything for convenience.
Tell Us More
New EP ‘Man Of War’ tones down some of the rockier edges heard on second album ‘Model Of You’ and shifts their music toward a bleak, bone shakingly bass-heavy electronic direction that is so absolutely noir in its framing that it should come plastered with a health warning. There’s transcendency here but it’s buried deep inside vast, impenetrable caverns of angst.
‘Man Of War’ is out on Born Electric