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Sing-A-Long Crowds: Cloud Control

Alister Wright is very sweet in the morning. Talking to us from a hotel room in Perth having played a sold out show the night before, he apologises for all the background noise: the other members of Cloud Control are trying to decide what to have for breakfast. After muttering something to the other people in the room, Alister then explains that everybody is about to go out to Coles and have “a big cook up”, before he laughs and begins retailing the adventures of their gig night before.

“It was crazy. Everyone in the audience was really drunk, which normally doesn’t happen all that much for us, and it got to the point where people were getting kicked out and pouring beer all over each other. Perth has been awesome. Really, really cool.”

When the Blue Mountains natives last toured across Australia with Vampire Weekend, the audience insisted on singing and dancing along to Cloud Control’s entire performance at nearly all shows. “It’s crazy and such a cool feeling. Now we have shows where fans know every word to every song,” Alister laughs, then pauses. “We never thought anything like that was going to happen. I feel like often we’re a band that journalists and radio have been fairly late to pick up on, so fans that are dedicated like that are always really unexpected. Unexpected, and really nice.”

Back then, although not too long ago, Cloud Control were best known for their song ‘Gold Canary’; a gentle, lifting folk song with a surging bass line and sweet guitar melody. It was the first single from Bliss Release, the band’s newly released first full-length album, which Alister assures was a long time coming.

“We had all continually been writing songs from the EP onwards, and we had first begun recording around this time last year. We started recording at our guitarist Jeremy’s parent’s house in their nice big living room and recorded the bass, drums and guitar onto an 8-track tape player,” he continues. “From there we overdubbed everything- which took a few weeks- and for the next few months recorded vocals and finished all the tricky stuff with Liam Judson from Belles Will Ring. It wasn’t an intense thing where we’d spend every day working. Instead we’d record whenever we could- after work or at any other moment we had. Looking back, recording an entire album in a lounge room in the mountains was pretty crazy from the technical side of things. We certainly spared the expenses of a studio.”

Signed to Australia’s renowned Ivy League Records, home of The Vines and Red Riders, Alister says Cloud Control are currently enjoying their ‘Next Big Thing’ status. He proudly reports that “the album has been doing really well. People seem to like it,” and talks up the band’s forthcoming overseas tour.

“We’re headed overseas to play a few shows in London later this year to try and win over some fans and generate some interest. It’s not a big thing, just a few small shows, but it will be fun and the whole band are looking forward to playing somewhere new and foreign,” he says before contemplating his efforts over the past year.

“We’ve never really had a huge idea of what we’re doing, and to us we’re just writing songs and doing our thing. It’s kinda interesting looking back on the completed album now. It feels really good to be finished recording. It was a lengthy process. Overall, I’m just really glad it’s finished and we’re touring again.” That said, so are we.

Cloud Control are playing Sydney tonight at the Beach Road Hotel with Richard In Your Mind. Tickets are free, so it’s a first come first serve entry basis, but if you miss out this time around, the band will be back in late July for the Annandale Hotel’s 10th birthday celebrations.

words: Jacinda Fermanis


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