Music Reviews

Half-Handed Cloud

Learning About Your Scale

Asthmatic Kitty

The recording quality is bedroom, yet the arrangements are lysergic and acoustic. The artistry of Half-Handed Cloud reminds me of what was happening in Tampa about ten years ago, with Miss America/Chocolate USA, and subsequently Home and the SMF gang. Also, early noisy Guided By Voices – all of these were taking introverted pop into strange and uncharted territories. But mostly, the melodic quirks and musical personality of this reminds me of the vastly under-appreciated LMNOP.

It’s close to impossible to pin down Half-Hearted Cloud’s sound. They can sound like Crosby Stills and Nash at one point, and a Flaming Lips backporch jam the next. Somehow, they can still fit in a bit of Kinks, Tall Dwarfs, The Beatles, and Ween between those two extremes. Add to that the fact that most of these songs evolve in a minute or less (25 tracks in 24 minutes) and you have an impressively dense arrangement of hooks, string sections, harmonies, no-budget production wizardry, slide whistles, spoken word… needless to say this is puzzling, intense, and ultimately enjoyable.

Asthmatic Kitty:

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