- Words Darcy Culverhouse
Glasgow’s hottest ‘it’ band, Cloud House, talk about their latest EP, ‘Still Here’, as well as their most memorable music moments and cathartic songwriting experiences.
While some bands anticipate connecting with fans habitually, Cloud House prioritise the creation of meaningful connections at the crux of everything they do. Their latest EP, Still Here, stands as a testament to this commitment. Cloud House’s music isn’t just songs. Nor solely musical compositions. They’re vessels: conveying the unfiltered essence of human experiences.
Forming Cloud House in a hot tub on a balmy day back in 2019, Conor, Patrick, Jack, Calum and Morgan wasted no time in bringing their own eclectic tastes to the table. With unflinching honesty, the talented cadre’s respect in the industry quickly became apparent, as they fearlessly ventured into their personal histories, illuminating the profound impact of their relationships.
Their latest offering, ‘Still Here’, demonstrates the collective’s openness, taking listeners on a kaleidoscopic odyssey anchored in themes of loss and grief. Penned and recorded shortly after the loss of lead singer Conor’s mother, the EP showcases Cloud House’s hallmark anthemic indie rock sound, as well as delivering infectious melodies that underscore a moving and poignant message about dealing with the loss of a family member.
While delving into the intricate dimensions of resilience and the power of hope amidst life’s darkest moments, every track on the album functions as a distinct chapter within a greater narrative. However, not all moments in the album are shrouded in darkness; there are elements of light, exemplified by the buoyant anthem, ‘Waiting For Summer’, a song that weaves together both joy and hints of bittersweet yearning through its infectious melody.
With their sights set on reaching as many ears as possible, Cloud House have already begun writing new music. To catch them before they blow, we sit down with the adept collective to talk everything about their EP and more.
‘Still Here’ was written during a challenging time – how did this personal experience influence the songwriting process?
It completely shaped it. It definitely connects all the songs in terms of the theme and subject matter. It was a pretty cathartic experience overall as I was able to grieve properly through the songs and really get my feelings across. And to be able to turn all that into something as positive as this EP is something I’m incredibly proud of.
What do you hope listeners will take away from the project in terms of its message and emotional impact?
I really hope people resonate and find comfort in these songs in their own way. When I was growing up I loved nothing more than connecting with my favourite bands through the stories they told and feeling like I was part of those stories – and I still do, to this day. That’s what I hope people take from this EP. I feel like we managed to capture darker subject matter in a very upbeat and energetic way. That’s something I think will bring a wider audience to the songs and once they delve a bit deeper they can find the real meaning hidden behind the sing-along nature of the songs.
How do you balance the emotional weight of your music with the need to connect with your audience on a universal level?
I think not being too specific at times is something we’ve managed to do very well. For example, the stories we’ve told in the songs are slightly hidden at times and if you didn’t know what it was about you might associate it with a few different things. We’ve been able to blend that quite well I think as we’ve kept it about our stories but it’s really accessible. Again, that’s something I’m really proud of and hope it makes it easier for people to listen to.
Could you share how the band’s sound has evolved and matured since your inception in 2019?
We’ve chopped and changed over the years for sure. We’ve worked with various brilliant producers, and experimented with different styles and I think this year is the first we’ve really nailed down what we want. I think it always takes a bit of time to find who you are and we feel we’ve finally done that.
Morgan, our Synth and Sax player, joined us officially this year and bringing that into the records rather than just live has really helped us find a solid sound this year. And also just the fact we’ve been together long enough now to get to know each other inside out as musicians really helps. We know how to bounce off each other and that’s really helped us develop as well.
Your music draws from a range of influences and personal experiences. How has each band member’s musical journey contributed to shaping Cloud House’s unique sound?
It’s a really amazing thing that we all have such varying tastes. Once we get in a room to finish songs together it’s amazing to have five different ideas on what we can do with a song. Sometimes things end up in songs that at the beginning wouldn’t even have crossed our minds. We all have connecting tastes that we feel influence us majorly so it’s also nice to have that togetherness. But having varied tastes does keep the writing aspect pretty fresh which is always a bonus.
The band Frightened Rabbit was a source of inspiration for your band name. Can you elaborate on the influence Frightened Rabbit and other artists have had on your music and style?
I think being from Scotland and being musicians we all felt very deeply about what happened to Scott Hutchison. He was an amazing guy. His music was incredible. One of a kind. I think the influence that Scott gave us apart from our name was being able to speak so openly about darker subjects. He was the first for a lot of us listening to the music to open up and talk about things that young men weren’t able to talk about. That’s a massive thing for us and something we aim to keep doing for as long as we make music.
In terms of our sound sonically we take great influence from artists like Inhaler, Sam Fender and The 1975. Bands like The Killers and Green Day majorly influence us as well. We’ve always loved a massive sound. And I think all those bands definitely bring that. That’s where we sit in terms of sonic influences for sure.
Cloud House has a wide range of musical influences, from pop-punk to classical music. How do you incorporate these diverse influences into your songs sonically, and what do they add to your music’s depth and richness?
It definitely helps to have different perspectives musically when writing. For example, if I bring something to the rest of the group and we work on it, then maybe Calum would suggest a different movement at one point. Pat might think a different chord or vocal line would sound better than another. Jack might want to flip the structure and use the drums to make a different section hit harder. Morgan might want to bring in a different synth texture in the middle 8. Having five different voices all with different influences and ideas coming together is so beneficial when writing, because, above all else, it starts a healthy discussion around ideas and gets us all to think differently about how things might sound, and we want them to sound. We all have a soft spot for pop-punk, some more than others, but it’s definitely all our other influences that add layers on top of that pop-punk/pop-rock undercurrent that ties all the tunes together.
As your reputation continues to grow, what have been some of the most memorable milestones or moments in your career so far, and how have they shaped your musical journey?
The recent headliner at King Tuts in Glasgow was an instant highlight – it was just amazing to have so many people there, all singing the words of our old songs back to us, and playing the songs off the new EP to such a great reception was pretty amazing too. Glasgow is always a great show though. Other highlights would definitely be the end of our tour last year, coming back to Glasgow in mid-December and just having a ball; our headline at Stereo, playing the Days Changed EP in full, and playing St Luke’s for the first time. It’s such a beautiful venue and it sounded amazing. It represented a step up for us in size, so I think that was special for us all.
Outwith notable shows, the release of the new EP definitely feels like a huge moment for us. We’ve had such a brilliant response with the singles (‘Still Here’ and ‘Don’t Wanna Talk’) in the lead-up. It really feels like we’re building some momentum with this release. We are so proud of all the songs on the EP and are so excited to get it out into the world and let it be heard. It really feels like this will be a moment we look back on and think of as pivotal in the life of Cloud House.
As you’re on the verge of releasing your new EP, how do you envision the future of Cloud House? What goals do you have for your music and live performances?
The future for Cloud House feels bright. It’s exciting to be releasing the new EP, and our minds are already looking towards what’s next – we’ve begun the process of starting our next release, putting plans in motion and bouncing ideas around; we are constantly working on new things as a way to focus our collective creativity and express our love for music.
At the same time, we are going to play as many shows and festivals as we can to promote our back catalogue in the hopes of our music reaching as many ears as possible. Our live performances grow in scope with every tour, so in the future, we’re hoping to play bigger stages and further develop the production of the live shows and put on the best shows we can.