Wednesday, 24 June 2015

No Clouds Over This Zen Summer

Cloud is Tyler Taormina of Long Island and is fresh behind the ears - not that you would guess it’s the one young dude with how huge and fun his second album Zen Summer (out now through Paper Trail Records) comes across. ‘Sunshine Psych’ has the summer psych euphoria that Woods espouses. There is an easy inherent groove in the likes of ‘Mantra One’ that evokes early Broken Social Scene -  in fact there are a number of moments on Zen Summer that remind me of that band’s second album You See It In People. There is a bucolic bubbling that underpins the album too, something that infuses naturalistic freak-folk shamans like Devendra Banhart or pastel-freak-popsters Animal Collective (‘Luana’). It is this constant sense of colourful inventiveness and verve that makes Zen Summer such an appetising prospect. The album supposedly comes from a dark place, a deliberate attempt to suppress anxieties and trepidations about the outside world and Taormina’s place in it, and songs like the atmospheric ‘Melting Cassatt’ and chaotic cascading ‘Sleepy Giant Speak’ certainly hint at these internal misgivings. Whether the creation of Zen Summer works for him is unsure, but he easily succeeds at setting the listener at ease at the very least, which is a great effort.

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