Cloud’s Comfort Songs is a collection of downbeat, gloomy works that create an atmosphere of utter desolation while somehow lifting the emotional aspect of the pieces beyond total sadness. There are lovely little hints of hope hidden in the depths of these songs and the young man behind it all, Tyler Taormina has, at heart, blurred the lines between sadness and joy in that the songs have at their core a deep understanding of how absolutely fucked up life can be. Taking elements of dream-pop, folk, indie, and slowcore, Cloud whirls the sounds together into a delightful mix of truth and honesty. The songs are simple constructions with the emphasis placed on Taormina’s words and the feelings conjured up by this charming debut.
Comfort Songs is wistful and full of longing yet it often cuts close to the core – see “Boy Sees Mirror” for some truly intense words on loss and an odd little foray into a completely different vocal approach. Using a more melodic talking style for much of the record, Cloud suddenly has a little bit of a shout which certainly works in the context of the song. “Stomach Pit” is drenched in classic literature references – “…we clicked our heels a thousand times” – and it’s on this song that the use of New York’s Practice Room Records Collective really comes into play and the song features a gorgeous vocal accompaniment from Samira Winter. Other musicians and vocalists make an appearance on Comfort Songs and it's the connections between Cloud and those around him that give the album life and a feeling of complete openness.
Comfort Songs is perhaps a few tracks too long but it's still a refreshing and welcome debut from an act that is sure to go far. Because for being so young, there's definitely more shit that life can throw at Tyler Taormina. Good luck.
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