Heidi Lenffer’s voice stops and starts down a crackly phone line from the Blue Mountains. “Did you say something about a stampede?” she asks, probably thinking she’s heard wrong.
“Yes,” is the reply, “I wanted to know how Splendour [in the Grass] was last week? Last time I saw Cloud Control play there was a stampede on the hill.”
“Oh!” laughs Lenffer. “Not this time, although there were no hills, so maybe that’s why.
“This time our set was a mix of old and new songs,” she explains, “A bit of a risk, but we took the plunge, and the crowd sang along to the old ones and managed to get into the new ones too. It was a great reaction.”
It’s no surprise that the crowd reacted so enthusiastically to Cloud Control’s new album, Dream Cave. Three years have passed since Cloud Control’s debut, Bliss Release, and for fans it may have seemed like a lifetime, but after just one listen they will realise it was worth the wait.
“We were worried that we’d taken too long to come up with new music,” Lenffer says.
“We couldn’t have written any faster. We’re a slow-working band, we really work through, and sometimes overwork, the songs.”
The band’s sonic progression is a darker Cloud Control, which makes sense considering some of the recording was done in a dark, Roman quarry with the image of a crazed Roy Orbison in mind. There are noticeably more guitar solos than the last album, and Lenffer says everyone contributed more in regards to lyrics this time around.
This was also the first time the band has worked in the UK and with producer and mix engineer Barny Barnicott (Arctic Monkeys, Editors, Kasabian), leading to some interesting and sometimes unexpected results.
Pressed to describe Dream Cave – it’s like pushing on your eyelids until colours, shapes and lights start appearing inside your head – Play Dream Cave at the same time and listeners have the perfect soundtrack to make an all-round audio-visual-hallucinatory experience. This is the music that colours and lights move to, although, it isn’t recommended for the sake of eyeball light-receptor safety.
Cloud Control’s new album is full of eerie desperation, otherworldly harmonies, killer guitar riffs, and is so good.
Dream Cave is available now. (AE)
Sep 12, The Metro, 624 George St, Sydney, $38.90 (02) 9550 3666, metrotheatre.com.au.
BY ALEXANDRA ENGLISH