Artists shrouding themselves in a mist of online obscurity is something that 2014 saw its fill of. Perhaps in the UK we have the likes of WU LYF to blame for sparking a wave of naval gazing and oh-so-cool indie types who are surely aware of the mass attention they have to gain by remaining faceless names (until that debut album comes out, obviously). The attempt at remaining so sound-centric in some cases could be admired; however when the dark side of this is the likes of Jungle and their rather vulgar in-it-for-the-lifestyle attitude, the listener can’t help but reel in horror as much as any Pitchfork office member.
Cloakroom have gathered some attention off the back of their secrecy. They are three factory workers from the decidedly unglamorous Indiana who have no Facebook page, Twitter or website for us to track their every move, from stage to bowel movements. The difference between the secrecy of Cloakroom and that of the above warriors of caviar funk is that Cloakroom’s silence is genuinely silent. There’s no major label fanfare and advert campaign working behind the scenes to suddenly ram all their songs up our communal cavities once the new financial year has begun.
Cloakroom musically operate somewhere that may be being increasingly treaded by what’s left of alternative rock scenes, not so much straight emo revival as amalgamation of genres ranging from shoegaze, slowcore, and post-rock. Further Out, the band’s debut record on the ever stellar Run For Cover Records, was recorded by Matt Talbot of late nineties fame as singer of cult college radio favourites Hum. Intense nerds of the genre will see this as an incredibly strong endorsement of a band who are perhaps at risk of recycling sounds which first hit the shelves nearly fifteen years ago. It lends some legitimacy to Further Out’s dynamic, at times sonically crushing contents of guitar and bass noise which is so wonderfully interwoven with singer Doyle Martin’s moaning and delicate melodies, that at times this record becomes more beautiful than the heavy machinery it can sometimes sound like. Prime cuts include early release “Lossed Over”, on which fuzzed guitars shift from sounding as if a ship is being dragged across dry land to find the sea, where it begins to cleanly float away. Cloakroom are certainly masters of the long game, the loud-quiet game, but more quietly considerate than violent in their delivery. If that’s not enough to sway any listener to love what is possibly going to be the best sad album of 2015, then note that this record was three months late due to the band wanting to record parts of it in a cave, which is simply unbelievably cool.
Image courtesy of thepunksite.com