Hidden Gem: Crack Cloud

Hidden+Gem%3A+Crack+Cloud

Matilda Hill-Jenkins

Jackson Card

The act of discovery is a beautiful thing. Especially in regard to music. From finding a new artist to diving into a new album from a favorite musician, this is what fuels me as a music fanatic. Some music takes time to grow into. Other stuff speaks to you immediately. The later was absolutely the case for me the first time I heard the band Crack Cloud.

The post-punk collective from Calgary currently consists of 7 members playing a variety of guitars, synthesizers and percussion instruments. Their sound is so unique and interesting, yet oddly familiar. When first listening, it was difficult to decipher what decade this marvelous concoction emerged from. They keep things fresh while drawing clear inspiration from the previous 4 decades.

Self-Titled

Crack Cloud only has one album released on Spotify, a 2018 self-titled release that has me obsessed. The album cover wonderfully represents the music behind it. It’s dark, creepy and pasted together like a collage. Like every song on the album that is unique on its own but connects effortlessly together, the cover art contains many images that combine to form an entire scene.

Crack Cloud consists of 11 songs and runs for 34 minutes. The diverse album has moments of punk, goth, jazz, synth-pop and musique concrete. Words really can’t do justice to the malefic grandeur of this album (you have to check it out for yourself!) but I will do my best.

Top Tracks

There really isn’t a dull moment on this album. However, there are a couple tracks that are simply spectacular. Such is the second track, “Drab Measure”. Driven by a resounding bass-line and launched forward with piercing guitars, this track is full of energy and guaranteed to get the blood pumping through your veins. Be careful showing your grandma this song, she just might see the devil.

The longest track is “Cap//Cloak”, lasting about 5 and a half minutes. It begins very rhythmic with angry, partially screamed vocals. By two minutes in, the track slows and begins a long instrumental section that slowly builds with drone-like metallic synths. This song blends together chaos and calmness to create an exquisite moment that I love.

The penultimate track is “Philosopher’s Calling”. The song starts with a simple drum beat and joined with single repeated synth notes and guitar chords. This track is super groovy and catchy. I could dance along all day with the words “I used to think that I’d never find closure / But baby thats before the amphetamine exposure / Psycho-stimulation, what a privilege for the mind / We should do it all the time, we should do it all the time”.

Overview

This album is one of my favorite new releases that I’ve heard in a while. Crack Cloud is able to encapsulate an 80s-esque sound while simultaneously pushing forward new ideas. They are bold and unafraid as they touch on addiction, existentialism and the terrors of life. I am so glad I uncovered this hidden gem and can not recommend it enough. Definitely worth the listen!

K-Ute Radio/The University of Utah does not own any of these images