Clouds Are Ghosts: Harbinger Heralds Brilliance
We got into the Clouds are Ghosts while deconstructing their band name. It was clear when we heard their work that the band was good, we compared them to Legendary Pink Dots and the Irrespressibles and that is some of our highest praise. The only problem we ever had with their output was that the whole thing seemed quite unfocused, like fire in zero gravity. It's pretty, but the center just didn't hold.
Still, we held out hopes for the band, and when singer Jason Morris dropped us a line saying that a new EP was on the horizon we perked up. Harbinger takes all our previous complaints about a scattershot approach and throws them out the window. Not the band's sound is as focused as a sniper rifle, and just as deadly.
All the spaciness and parallel dimensions remain in the work, but now we find ourselves actually sucked into their world rather than just watching passively from the side. From the very first moment that "The Welcoming" starts you are instantly hooked. The paranoid anthem has an epic span, arching across the audio ionosphere with whispers of possessed wave lengths and a hope of some kind of better future for whatever it is mankind eventually becomes.
Sometimes as we're listening to the album, and we're on our fourth go-round as we speak, we get the feeling that there is a lesson here that is very important, but that still eludes us. It's like we're the people in the Day the Earth Stood Still and we just haven't got what it takes to listen to Michael Rennie. Morris's cry of "Your light shines brightest when you're honest," is likely to go just as unheeded in this world as Klaatu's was, but hopefully we won't shoot him over it.
The Clouds are Ghosts is a band that exists through a haphazard process of negation. It's survived more personnel changes than Megadeth, and somehow at the end of all those shifts the final product is something as tight as a military squadron. Harbinger is a love letter to the parts of us that Bill Hicks always encouraged us to listen to; the place inside us that knows that space awaits our presence. All we can hope is that amidst all the Jersey Shore and Katy Perry we're beaming out into the ether than when the aliens tune into Channel Earth that they hear this first.
We sat down with Morris to talk about Harbinger. Click on over to page 2 to read.