Saturday, 21 March 2015

Recommended music: 'Zen Summer' by Cloud

The second album from Tyler Taormina sees him in a brighter place, both literally and metaphorically. Although it was recorded before he packed up and left Long Island for Los Angeles it almost sees him anticipating that move, replacing the outpouring of emotions on 'Comfort Songs' with something more contented and relaxed. From the moment the wave crashes against the shore at the start of opening track 'Fly Into The Mystery' you can sense the journey to the West Coast. Here's what Tyler says about the vibe of the record:

"After 'Comfort Songs' I was in a dark place; but I always knew that when it ended a really uplifting and bright time was going to come. When it inevitably did the lightness I experienced turned into a real strange period of transition, culminating with me leaving home for Los Angeles. 'Zen Summer' was written to help those experiencing the anxiety associated with a state of flux. I wanted them to realise that things would be alright in the end."

Despite the change in direction the album is still full of personal observations. You can sense the importance Tyler places on surrounding yourselves with people you care about in these mirrored lyrics from 'Sunshine Psych' near the start of the album and 'Rainbow Road' at the end:

"I like when a house is full of life and when friends stick around"
"I like when a house is full of life and friends you call the best"

In 'Melting Cassatt' (which you can hear below) he confesses that "I told myself that I wouldn't cry...but it's OK now". Advice is despatched on the trippy 'Sleepy Giant Speak' :"One way out is to whine, one way in is to count the good things, it's your life, don't be scared"

The music meanwhile has broadened and deepened to become a blend of Mercury Rev and The Velvet Underground, while on the blissed-out 'Tastes Bad' we move into the stoned mantra of enlightenment-seeking psychedelia.

Overall this blissed-out and uplifting record is something that nourishes your soul as well as providing enjoyment for your ears. The album is out on 7th April via Paper Trail Records, and you can order your copy here.

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