Clouds Are Ghosts: What Is Dark Is Also Uplifting

It's a well-known fact that most band names are essentially gobbledygook, but here at Rocks Off we're trying hard to find meaning in the oddest monikers.

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The music of Clouds are Ghosts is hard to quantify. At first we were comparing the Austin group to the Legendary Pink Dots except that they're more danceable. Then we checked out "Fields" and now we think they sound more like the Irrepressibles. Either way, what they are laying down upon thee is a sonic assault of avant-garde activism that is frightening in its terrible beauty.

Each song flows so well from one to another that it's difficult to really identify the individual parts instead of viewing their music as one unified whole. It's definitely a walk outside of the typical, but comfortably pop for all that. You can certainly just appreciate the melodies and the beats without really delving down into the deeply disturbing lyrics that seem to make up their songs.

Sure, the Clouds are Ghosts will be one of those bands that few seem to know but everyone eventually acknowledges for their genius. We are certainly in their camp after hearing just a few tracks. However, that name...

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The Clouds are Ghosts? The clouds aren't ghosts. They're just condensation reflecting sunlight, or the possible home of the Care Bears. Either way, they are not freakin' haunted. How messed-up in the noggin do you have to be where you stare at the fluffy white bits of Heaven and think that they are spirits who cannot find rest?

The question behind the band's name galled at us. Galled, we say. In the end we asked lead singer Jason Morris to meet us at the big hill beside Miller Outdoor Theatre. There's no better place in all of Houston for cloud-watching. Lying down beside the auteur, we noticed one cloud in the exact shape of Muncie, Indiana. Seemed like a good place to broach the subject we'd come to broach.

"We wanted a name that had a dichotomy to it, and left interpretation up to the person hearing it," said Morris. "Clouds can be soft and white on a sunny day or dark and ominous before a storm. Ghosts can also be viewed in different ways. You say ghosts to some people and they think of tortured souls unable to pass into the next realm, and others think of loved ones who are gone, but still look over us.

"As a result, I feel our name is almost interpreted to be whatever their particular view may be. It ends up not being as easy to assume we sound any sort of way. I suppose you are going to assume that it is darker music, but lots of music which is dark is also uplifting, and that is the feeling we are trying to evoke."



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