Occupying the nocturnal space between the poignant maximalism of Tim Buckley and the codeine beats of Mount Kimbie, Cloud Boat – aka British duo Sam Ricketts and Tom Clarke – deliver a gorgeously original and soulful new slant to electronica.
The first time we heard of Cloud Boat, of course, was with their R&S single ‘Lions On The Beach’, an iridescent slice of folk-spliced electronica, shimmering and swooning in all the right places. The band were then personally selected to tour support both Mount Kimbie and James Blake, a stint which honed an already promising live show. Making the short hop over from R&S to the reactivated sister label Apollo seems a natural progression, as their music continues the lineage of classic experimental records from the likes of Aphex Twin, Mark Van Hoen and Biosphere.
Support comes from the wonderful Nadine Shah, the singer-songwriter of Norwegian and Pakistani parentage from a small coastal village in the north-east of England, but she could just as easily be the result of a steamy union in the capital some time in the early-90s between Nick Cave and Polly Harvey. Shah cites her influences as everyone from Phillip Larkin and Frida Kahlo to Interpol and Arthur Russell (something in the tremulousness of her voice bears the latter out) as well as the religious Sufi songs that her father would play during car rides and the ghazals he sang in Urdu around the house. See her in support of Cloud Boat this May.