The Girls from the Clouds – Lalalala
Anyone who ever listened to Australian indie-pop during the early and mid-’90s would remember Clouds and their achingly gorgeous melodies, astonshing vocal harmonies and a genre-defying style that could be pure pop one moment then dark and broody like a summer storm the next.
Clouds are seven years gone now, but Trish Young and Jodi Phyllis – the songwriting brains as well as the glorious vocals of the outfit – have got back together and recently released an EP called Lalalala. Appropriately wearing their history on their shirtsleeves, they simply call themselves The Girls from the Clouds.
The five tracks on this EP leap out at you straight away – cheeky, upbeat songs with pop hooks you can’t help but fall for.
The brash and energetic guitars of Bye Bye Wintertime hark back to debut-effort Penny Century. You could almost imagine that they’re bidding goodbye to the long hiatus after Clouds’ demise and rejoicing in the new spring that’s dawning. The interspersed hand-clapping is incredibly retro, but oh-so-right.
Saw you with a girl continues in the same vein – a tale of fatalism, loss and hope.
House of the Sun is darker, more like Thunderhead. Trish’s bass comes more to the fore. Counter pointed with rapid-fire tambourine, it sets up an insistent, creeping rhythm. Trish and Jodi’s layered harmonies sweep over the top like honey, and the song builds and builds right to the end.
Then we’re off on a Pacific holiday with the sultry and relaxed Sugar And Spice.
Finale Beyond The Clouds is breezy and optimistic – an ode to Trish and Jodi’s new adventure ‘on a dream and a wish’.
Lalalala is a less frantic effort than anything Clouds ever produced. Absent is the high-intensity pop of something like Souleater or the Breeders-like growl of Bower of Bliss. Yet for any fan, it’s still quintessential Clouds – the harmonies, the signature guitar sound, the irresistibly catchy tunes – are all there.
In fact, Lalalala is the perfect summer EP – whack it on, invite some friends over and BBQ away to some wonderful tunes from two of Australia’s finest songwriters.
Girls from the Clouds are playing two launches for the EP in Sydney and Melbourne in December.