Sept. 20, 2017
Home / Articles / Music / Music Features /  SFR ...
Kate Russell

SFR Streams: An Exclusive Stream of the New Cloacas Album

Hear the newest album a full week before its official release

September 22, 2016, 2:25 pm

We're still about a week out from Cloacas' weekend-long album release party, and to celebrate we thought we'd offer up an exclusive stream of ...and the skies are not cloudy all day. 

The immediate assumption when one hears Cloacas’ particular blend of Americana, folk, gypsy-jazz and oddball experimentation is that we must have heard this someplace before. Indeed, all the elements are there for the perilous journey into same-old, same-old—acoustic instruments, lots of banjo, uh, vests—and yet for every straightforward time signature or familiar stylistic choice on the new album, there exists a bizarre counterbalance in the form of spooky circus music, a forlorn singing saw peering out from just behind the musical focal point or even, at times, an almost punk rock breakdown.

Think the stranger moments on an album like Squirrel Nut Zippers’ 1995 debut, The Inevitable, only with a deft enough hand and vision to steer clear of swing music corniness for sincere eccentricity; Cloacas, in fact, would probably already be huge were this 20-ish years ago. Of course, that doesn’t mean they’re stuck in a time or place now irrelevant, rather that their catalog pulls from the old (and older still) and/or from the far and wide sounds of the globe to compress the nearly incompressible into something very then, but also very now. Take the Middle Eastern flair of “Poison Sumac (Toxicodendron Vernix),” a song that kicks off with a cacophonous orchestra of kazoos, or the looming darkness that sneaks up during “The Great Rhinehart Tire Fire of 1983,” which exists just shy of a Danny Elfman-esque soundtrack movement. There are those toe-tappin’ tunes with which one might whistle along as well, like “East Faught Shunt” (a banjo-driven number that wouldn’t sound out of place if performed by Kermit the motherfucking Frog) or “Just Another Day,” one of the more vocally-heavy numbers that is simultaneously jam-packed with gospel appeal and a down-south aesthetic.

Recorded as a sort of tribute to the then-active home of nonprofit weirdo-arts collective High Mayhem (they’re still around, they’re just not venue-ish these days), skies represents the most solid yet sprawling vision the band has been able to impart to date, and a rather impressive evolution given the sheer number of moving parts. It could be the top-notch mastering courtesy of local audio champ Will Dyar (look him up, anyone making an album around here) or the know-how and equipment at High Mayhem’s disposal, but Cloacas seems closer as a unit and more in sync than they’ve ever been, a notion all the more evident in that skies was mostly recorded live—minus a few vocal overdubs. They’ve also doubled down on recorded media and will offer the record digitally and on CD as well as on limited edition blue vinyl for a mere 200 fans. Each LP comes with a digital download code, by the way, but for all those vinyl nerds out there who always express the warmth and tone as the reasons why they so love records, skies seems tailor-made and an obvious buy.

Such a tremendous achievement also deserves a tremendous release window, which Cloacas has provided and then some. In addition to the exclusive week-long stream of the album on our website, the sextet has planned three days of release events to be held between Santa Fe, Taos and Madrid. As skies is the tightest they’ve ever been as a band and is far and away their most definitive and well-executed collection of songs made available in their relatively short existence, it would be highly advisable for pretty much everyone to be there. It isn’t out of the question for Cloacas to be headed into some semblance of success at this point, and it’s exciting to muse over what might happen next.

Day 1
7 pm Thursday, Sept. 29
$10 (comes with free CD or ten bucks off the vinyl release)
Iconik Coffee Roasters
1600 Lena St., 428-0996

Day 2
9 pm Friday, Sept. 30
Taos Mesa Brewing Taos Tap Room (say that five times fast)
201 Paseo del Pueblo Sur, (575) 758-1900

Day 3
7 pm Saturday Oct. 1
Mine Shaft Tavern
2846 Hwy. 14, Madrid, 473-0743

Cloacas performed for SFR’s short-lived Basement Concert series last year.


comments powered by Disqus


* indicates required
Choose your newsletter(s):

@SFReporter on Instagram