NEW MUSIC: Cloud Seeding – Mirage (ft. Alexa Wilding) [Video] (2014)

mirageBy Ryan Smith

Flash back to July of this year. In a review of Brooklyn, NY’s heinously talented composer Cloud Seeding’s seventh single, “Kaleidocycle,” I made sure to mention briefly the previous release, the single “Mirage.” To save you time, my exact words were that “Mirage” was “a little tract of breath-taking, reverb-soaked heaven” and that it featured “vocals delivered astonishingly by Alexa Wilding.” So now it has come to pass that, four months after the release of the single itself, Cloud Seeding has at last released a music video for “Mirage.”

What I love the most about “Mirage” is its striking marriage of gorgeous, shivers-up-the-spine-inducing shoegaze and bare bones Americana. Behind most of the awesome is Cloud Seeding himself, Kevin Serra, on guitar and keyboards (the hauntingly subtle key work on the track should not go unnoticed). The aforementioned Alexa Wilding not only delivers spectacular vocals (in a stroke of subtle brilliance, the wordless vocal in the chorus adds further definition to the isolationist vibe) but she also played bass, setting the tune’s Americana style in stone when combined with Jared Barron’s solid percussion.

Cloud Seeding: Kevin Serra.

Cloud Seeding: Kevin Serra.

The video itself was shot by filmmaker Paola Suhonen in Joshua Tree, California. Shot with 16mm reversal film, the video, featuring a model playing guitar amidst the desert landscape, has a definite old school cinema vibe. The seventies heartworn highway ballad vibe is more than represented in the visual. With the U.S. flag featuring as apparel, and a picture of Elvis Presley being left behind along with an old, star-spangled trunk, one wonders if the artist is making a statement about modern American culture… Food for thought… We also catch a fleeting glimpse of a girl in a white dress disappearing behind a curtain, emphasising brilliantly the line “city after city, ghost after ghost.”

I’m a fan of Cloud Seeding because his art speaks to me, and this video sums up his style perfectly. In my opinion, his strengths are his haunting and highly nostalgic atmospherics, and Paola Suhonen clearly grasped this when she conceptualised her visual. The video, while decidedly minimalist, compliments the sound perfectly, lending the stunning atmosphere new dimension, and allowing sound and picture to engage briefly in demure conversation.

Check out the video below and be sure to head over to Cloud Seeding’s Bandcamp page to download “Mirage” and other fantastic singles!

RYAN SMITH spends a great deal of his time under troll bridges shaking his fist and hollering obscenities at the mainstream, but occasionally finds himself on the side of a pop act that the underground has disowned. A schizoid fan for the 21st century? Although he has a diverse musical taste that runs the gamut from black metal to country to most forms of jazz, Ryan’s first love will always be progressive music.