Entries in Cloud Person (1)


Cloud Person - Caligula

Caligula was a Roman Emperor notorious for cruelty and sadism before being brutally killed. Unless I’ve missed something, Seattle sextet Cloud Person are not known for these things. But their new EP “Caligula” is sure to destroy any preconceptions of who they are. With just two songs, “Caligula” and “Get Me Out of This City”, it still clocks in at 12 minutes, every one of them intense and undeniably epic.

I hate indulgent rock wank-ery. I don’t want to listen to jerk-off theory nerds try to recreate Bach without paying an orchestra. With their respective runtimes of 7:25 and 5:13 respectively, it would be easy to assume that these songs are of some similar indulgent ilk. That is, somehow, not the case at all.

“Caligula” starts off quick and dirty, with Pixies-esque fuzz guitar, a soaring bass line and textural synths laying down a rapid-fire rhythm that will get the rock kids jumping around and the smoother, classy types shaking their hips. Cloud Person's hallmark is immaculate composition. Through several tempo changes and tonal shifts, the song maintains emotional immediacy with no fluff to scrape off. It is a movie of a song, a journey that ebbs and flows and ends with the hero standing tall.

"Get Me Out of This City" has a laid-back, bluesy groove. Chugging guitars and bass are embellished with beautiful, Doors-y piano melodies. The tonal shifts are less dramatic than "Caligula" but no less effective. Tasteful psych guitar breaks are interspersed with equally tasteful harmonica interludes to create a vibe I enjoyed best while driving. Weed wouldn't make it less enjoyable, if you're into it. But don't drive and weed. DO NOT drive and weed. Choose.

Cloud Person's anchor, and the one thing that has remained constant throughout their history, is Pete Jordan's vocal and lyrical narrative. If there is an indulgence Jordan partakes in, it is of the emotional kind. “It’s going tonight, the feeling of the state isn’t right,” Jordan intones in “Caligula”, “They tell you to embrace the doubt again. Oh, it’s a lie. Regress to abide.” This strain of impassioned cynicism, full-throated despair, is that of a true believer raging against the tide of apathetic malaise.

The criteria for greatness in today’s industry model is very different than before. Heart often falls far below aesthetic in terms of marketability. Cloud Person’s aesthetic is both retro and thoroughly modern. They have mastered dynamic composition. But it is their heart, laid bare with everything on the line, that distinguishes them from their peers.

Words by Patrick Galactic