words by tom johnson
One of the more subtle soundtracks to this bridge between the end of Summer and beyond, cloudlight’s debut album is a tender display of eerie folk songs, seemingly carved out of the Michigan wilderness and presented, delicately, to those lucky enough to stumble upon the captivating, often beautiful glow that resonates from within.
Alternating lead vocals between Bryan Ralph and Jessica Fogle, the trio (completed by Mackenzie Carlson on mandolin) have crafted a record that lingers rather than attacks, though it never once feels like background music, more that it comes from a place where boisterous bluster counts for little at all. There are ruminations in their sounds, little tremors of something else that keeps the whole thing from drifting away, but cloudlight certainly aren’t afraid of fully embracing the quietude.
Fogle’s half-whispered is a thing of intrigue, most notably on the centre-piece stand-out “superhwy” which digs its heels in from the very first listen. Elsewhere, the captivating five-minutes of “route twentytwo” make for one of the more poignant folk excursions we’ve heard this year, while closing track “dream” plays out like the most lucid of departures, the gentle instrumentation and poignant words that dance around it making for a truly touching piece of music, and a suitably immersive and impressive end to this small, delicate, but ultimately lasting gem of a record. Stream it in full right here:
‘cloudlight‘ is out now – buy it here via Bandcamp