Perhaps it’s the full, golden tone of Dave Gowan’s voice which so effectively shepherds the listener through the thematically liminal journey of Cloudsplitter’s self-titled album. Given, however, the complete and fully resolved combination of texture, story and sound, this is clearly the mastery of a talented collective at work.
This collection of warm and balmy tracks eloquently and powerfully conjures sentiments of that timeless struggle between darkness and light in a way that is accessible, thought-provoking and, most importantly, thoroughly listenable.
Opener “Fields at Night” sets the thematic mood with dreamy, spacey guitar lines, a scuttling drum beat and a rich and veracious lyrical artery. “Tasks at Hand,” meanwhile, is another standout, anchoring the quintessence of the overarching appeal of fading and languishing versus the struggle to glow. In a novel and inviting fashion, the two opposites are presented with equal validity and beauty, instead of one championing over the other.
So, in the end, which is it? Who wins in the ongoing struggle, darkness or light? With a humbling resolution in the second-to-last song, “Start With The Soil,” we are (rather refreshingly) presented with an alternate, more poignant suggestion of a fittingly subtle epiphany. The resolution is perhaps not a winning elemental contestant – the two have been meshed together all along – but merely sharing the paroxysm with another, a partner, a fellow traveler, thereby simply appreciating the beauty and giving up the fight.
Instead of leaving us in a languishing limbo – although the duration there was lovely, memorable and at times even careless and danceable – Vancouver-based Cloudsplitter wrap up this autumn-appropriate gem in a most enlightening and wonderful way.