When Cloud Control moved back to Sydney in 2013, they were in many ways different to the band that had left. In the preceding two years, they had toured their Australia Music Prize-winning, ARIA-nominated first album Bliss Release to global acclaim, relocated to the UK, and released a second LP – Dream Cave – from their new home. But as they prepared to return to Australia at the end of a huge US tour, bassist Jeremy Kelshaw bowed out and suddenly, for the first time in nine years, Cloud Control had to find balance as a three-piece: Alister Wright, Heidi Lenffer, and Ulrich Lenffer. The trio brought back with them a new resolve, borne out of a decade of experience: their next record would be made in their own time, on their own terms, and it would sound exactly the way they wanted. It took three years to record Zone, but the band’s first self-produced LP is their most cohesive, complex, and personal release to date. It’s full of color, space, and undeniable tunes. Wright, who took the helm as producer, describes it as an accumulation – of sounds, experiments, ideas, experiences. In the time it took to make, the band accrued mountains of gear, hundreds of demos, and countless hours of refining each track. There were setbacks – break-ins, break-ups, and communication breakdowns – but through it all there was a sense of freedom and growth. “It feels like a personal triumph” Heidi Lenffer says.
“Rainbow City” the album’s ebullient, driving lead single, was jammed out at a writers’ retreat in the country where the demos brimmed with so much energy that they were brought into the final mix. It’s an intense track, with a desperate lead vocal from Wright, a fat electric guitar tone, and a cleverly nuanced bridge featuring the Lenffers’ back-and-forth singing. It’s the sound of a group that has found its balance as a trio and is now freer with direction and influences than ever before.
“Airy, layered harmonies mix with shredding, almost grunge-y guitars while our protagonist weeps uncontrollably. Yet for all his heaving sobs, he simultaneously describes himself as a “statue;” there’s clearly a battle to stay sane going on here.” -Consequence of Sound
“Captivating, moving, impossible to ignore.” -PopMatters
RIYL: Tame Impala, Primal Scream, The Flaming Lips, Phoenix, San Cisco, Methyl Ethel
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