The Clouds Are Ghosts
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The Clouds Are Ghosts

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF
Band Pop New Age




"The Clouds are Ghosts"

If you do a bit of digging on The Clouds are Ghosts, you'll see a uniformly-positive opinion between the Austinist, the Austin Chronicle, and Austin Town Hall - The quartet has broken one of the glass barriers that a lot of indies struggle with: Local press.

In any city, that's a struggle (a prophet in his own town, as it were). But in a market like ours, with hundreds, if not thousands, of bands to choose from... Let's just say the boys and girl in the band must be doing something right to make Austin's press pay enough attention to actually devote a bit of precious column space to them.

That's Jason Morris on the far left there - His is the voice of the group. Next to him is Erin Fillingame, who tickles the ivories (if we can speak so cavalierly about an obviously-gifted talent). To her immediate right is Jason Flitcraft - He plays traditional strings (violin and guitar). Not pictured is percussionist Kevin Butler, apparently grafted into the team whilest recording their debut LP at Test Tube Audio. On the far right is Steven Paul, who plays guitar and presumably pulls those awesome airy sounds out of the synths he commands.

And Awesome is the correct word: The tracks these guys have cut for their self-titled LP inspire respect with their instrumentation and compositional style, made even more towering by some serious production chops. Which they have in abundance. Chops, that is.

Any other instruments, and you'd tag 'em as experimental; thus associating them with careless dissonance and psychedelically-inspired slop. But because they bring classical piano and violin and quartet-sounding synths, it gives their sound an air of convincing authority. For fear of being dubbed a cultural idiot, you're almost afraid not to agree that they bear significance: It's that classical instrumentation, coupled with Morris' stretching, emotive vocals, that's drawing the ewws and awes.

For good cause. Check out the top-notch production values on "Atomic Daydream":
Notice the studio cleanliness, coupled with just a smidge of reverb: It gives these pieces a nice airy depth, suggesting the gravitas that we'd call their core sound. Great recording, nice mix, professional mastering - The Clouds Are Ghosts have brought their A game, folks.

Compositionally, the guys and gal wear the "experimental" label politely - They rarely depart from verse-chorus-verse structures, and only dip a toe into harmonic dissonance - Usually just enough to make a musical point. This approach liberates them to do very nice simplistic arrangements of dense melodies: Check out the minimalistic "We Are Not Alone", and try not to get swept up with the pathos of the piano, backed by the swirlish pads; both painted over at the whim of Morris' vox:
Now take a listen to "Insomnia", and watch how they've wedged random vox into nice atmospheric pads, all behind a simplistic keyboard melody; ending up with a compelling, hypnotic soundscape:
Mostly hailing from Beaumont (Morris hails from Savannah, GA), they've been around for 3+ years, playing spots all over (including some you'd think are not a fit for their sound): Mohawk, Stubb's, The Highball, Beauty Bar, Club de Ville, The Scoot Inn, Elysium, Trophy's, Red 7. And though Austin is home, they've traveled to Dallas/Denton/Fort Worth for a gig or two, and have been seen as far away as Athens GA, Brooklyn, Baltimore, Washington DC, and New Orleans.

The scuttlebutt is they're working on LP 2, which will then be followed up with gigs 'a plenty, most likely here in the Austin area, probably at your venue of choice.

We'll leave you with the debut LP, well worth a download (free at the time of this writing), and definitely a worthy of a fully-attended listen: - Austin Independent Music Noise

"Album of the Week Clouds Are Ghosts: Harbinger Heralds Brilliance"

?We got into the Clouds are Ghosts while deconstructing their band name. It was clear when we heard their work that the band was good, we compared them to Legendary Pink Dots and the Irrespressibles and that is some of our highest praise. The only problem we ever had with their output was that the whole thing seemed quite unfocused, like fire in zero gravity. It's pretty, but the center just didn't hold.
Still, we held out hopes for the band, and when singer Jason Morris dropped us a line saying that a new EP was on the horizon we perked up. Harbinger takes all our previous complaints about a scattershot approach and throws them out the window. Not the band's sound is as focused as a sniper rifle, and just as deadly.

All the spaciness and parallel dimensions remain in the work, but now we find ourselves actually sucked into their world rather than just watching passively from the side. From the very first moment that "The Welcoming" starts you are instantly hooked. The paranoid anthem has an epic span, arching across the audio ionosphere with whispers of possessed wave lengths and a hope of some kind of better future for whatever it is mankind eventually becomes.

Sometimes as we're listening to the album, and we're on our fourth go-round as we speak, we get the feeling that there is a lesson here that is very important, but that still eludes us. It's like we're the people in the Day the Earth Stood Still and we just haven't got what it takes to listen to Michael Rennie. Morris's cry of "Your light shines brightest when you're honest," is likely to go just as unheeded in this world as Klaatu's was, but hopefully we won't shoot him over it.

The Clouds are Ghosts is a band that exists through a haphazard process of negation. It's survived more personnel changes than Megadeth, and somehow at the end of all those shifts the final product is something as tight as a military squadron. Harbinger is a love letter to the parts of us that Bill Hicks always encouraged us to listen to; the place inside us that knows that space awaits our presence. All we can hope is that amidst all the Jersey Shore and Katy Perry we're beaming out into the ether than when the aliens tune into Channel Earth that they hear this first. - Houston Press

"Texas Platters"

The Clouds Are Ghosts
"We embrace the dawning of our future," sings Jason Morris without irony and in a manner that recalls Damien Rice on "The Welcoming," the nuclear winter opening to Clouds Are Ghosts' five-song EP. His utter sincerity is the saving grace of the sextet's future-perfect trip-rock – New Order meets New Age. Clean though not sterile, TCAG hits the mark on anthemic standout "Beacon." - The Austin Chronicle

"Album Review - The Clouds Are Ghosts - Harbinger EP"

By: Joel Frieders

Album Rating:
Free Download

DOWNLOAD - The Clouds Are Ghosts - Hurricaine

Submissions from bands that I've never heard of get me rock fucking hard. Bands like Gashcat, Sevonica, The Black Books, Cultfever, and This Old Ghost, they're tits because they're driving their own PR machine and they happen to randomly breeze past our adult book store and toss us a cock-o-gram. If I happen to be at the front desk when the cock is lobbed, well, I'm usually quite receptive to shit I find eartractive. (See what I did there?)

The Clouds Are Ghosts, who actually sound like they're a post rock band based solely on the band name, are one of those bands who submitted their wares to our house of ill repute and I'm ready to gobble them publicly because they are fucking hamazing (that's when they're glazed and served with pineapple). What all at once sounds huge and delicate is what they're calling 'electro acoustic' but to me it's borderline post rock with pseudo progressive electro undertones (GAG). Not only do they utilize the 2011 treasure chest of electronic ticklers and toys, they do so in a manner where you're almost asking for more noodling, as it's so fucking tasteful I have a hard time accepting Harbinger is only an EP. Fuck 5 songs mother fuckers, give me 10.

I think what draws me in the most from The Clouds Are Ghosts are the vocals. I will admit to being turned off by them for the first few minutes, as they seemed to sit on top of the music rather than reside within it, but after getting through the entire EP and then starting over, I think I know why they feel so familiar. Jason Morris, singer dude from TCAG, sounds like an immature Maynard James Keenan and a teenage Davey Havok from AFI. His range can take him from mellow speak singing to straight the Fuck on rock anthem in seconds, and his unique sounding pipes have both massaged and kicked my supple man purse.

While an awesomely fucking emotional 5 songs make up the Harbinger EP, I feel like I've been left pants-less to try and take care of my own needs. I expect a shitload more from these Texas cock swingers in the new year. There is no fucking way any band with this much versatility and cashew butter should be allowed another two years between releases. This short ass mother fucking EP dropped in 2011, after a short ass EP dropped in 2009. That infuriates me.

The Clouds Are Ghosts are too fucking jangalang jangalang to be allowed this much free time.

Gorgeous. This. Now. You. Ass. - SYFFAL

"Le Diamant Brut: The Antlers & The Clouds Are Ghosts"


What’s the Deal: Having formed just two years ago, this Austin foursome is still brand new to the soundscape. This synth and key-driven group of local music makers released their self-titled, full-length debut in the late summer of 2009, and around that time Austinist caught up with them for a short interview in advance of their release show at Beauty Bar. The album is full of electro-alt-rock tunes with orbiting orchestration and grand ideas. Their music is thick and layered with percussion, digital pulses, dreamy and dreary keyboards, and the cascading sound of strings.

Many of the tunes have a definite Placebo vibe, due in large part to singer Jason Morris’ soothing and bleak vocals as in “Learning” over beats with the added bonus of a solid section of strings. The result is a song that is moving and potent with rising hums and twinkles in this dreary twilight composition. Tracks like “Underwater Level” change the game a little relying on triumphant instrumentation led by rolling snare, horns and a glittering base of piano.

Something Interesting: You can actually download the group’s self-titled album at no cost to you on their MySpace, a practice brand new artists should engage in more often. All the songs on the album are also up for preview on MySpace.

Other Tracks Worth Checking Out: “Fields” and “Change” -

"The Clouds Are Ghosts"

The Clouds Are Ghosts – S/T (Independent)
From Austin, Texas, The Clouds Are Ghosts play beautifully poised electronica; nicely atmospheric mood pieces, but created to serve the song, rather that the other way round. Vocalist Jason Morris’ voice is light and delicate, though always high in the mix, and the band provides distinctive hooks amongst the effects. They list their influences as Radiohead and Massive Attack, and while both make sense, The Clouds Are Ghosts aren’t overtly progressive, experimental, trippy or soulful. They do however have something, which both impresses and is intrinsically likeable. They sound European; certainly from another time - they sound like the future, as envisaged twenty, maybe thirty years ago, and as such, sound refreshingly apart from the mainstream. See what you think. The last time I looked you could download the complete album from the MySpace page. There should be a link somewhere ‘round here…
Tony S. -

"The Clouds Are Ghosts"

The Clouds Are Ghosts
Posted: Monday, February 08, 2010
By: Ilker Yücel

Lush trip-hop meets somber psychedelia on the debut from this Austin, Texas band.
If the somber trip-hop of Portishead and Massive Attrack were to have a lascivious affair with the psychedelic shoegazing of early Pink Floyd, the result would be akin to the sound produced on the debut album by The Clouds Are Ghosts. Hailing from Austin, Texas, the band travels a unique path of electroacoustic dream-pop that will surely remind listeners of some of their favorite ambient trip-hop groups, but without sounding like a carbon copy. Part of this is due to Jason Morris' vocals, demonstrating a range and a command of melody that is not often heard in underground pop music, climb to exhilarating highs that carry songs like "Change" and "Learning" into unforeseen emotional realms. Also notable is his ability to harmonize, particularly evident on "Atomic Daydream" as his vocal layers create a pillow of ambience atop a restrained but energetic drum & bass beat. However, when listening to The Clouds Are Ghosts, it becomes clear that this is an ensemble effort as everything from electro beats and synthesizers bounce off of weeping violins, lush pianos, and crystalline guitars. The interplay among Morris and band mates Erin Fillingame, Jason Flitcraft, and Steven Paul - especially when considering that all contribute on multiple instruments - creates a depth of sound usually reserved for orchestral arrangements. From the aquatic dreaminess of "We Are Not Alone" to the blistering grimness of "Vampires," one can detect traces of the aforementioned Pink Floyd, as if these tracks were updated outtakes from Meddle. However, one of the primary detriments to this album (or it could be a benefit, depending on one's personal taste) is the brevity of the tracks. With 10 songs, The Clouds Are Ghosts lasts only 34 minutes, which is not a bad thing in and of itself, but when a song like "Echo" reaches a soaring climax in its chorus, only to end after two-and-a-half minutes, the end result is far from satisfying. The same can be said for "Atomic Daydream" or "Orbiting," both of which display a tremendous amount of energy and catchiness that could carry a listener for much longer if given the chance. Then again, what the short length of these songs does accomplish is that desire to hear more, guaranteeing that the album will be on repeat in one's playlist for hours without running the risk of redundancy. Since the release of the album, the band has added Kevin Butler to the fold on drums, which will undoubtedly add an even richer texture to the tapestry of sound already evident on The Clouds Are Ghosts. Currently available for a limited time for free via the band's web site, the debut by The Clouds Are Ghosts is not to be missed as it signals the arrival of a band that at first listen is sure to achieve bigger and better things. -

"A2W: Clouds Are Ghosts"

It’s been awhile since our last artist to watch feature, so we thought we’d press on this week with Austin band The Clouds Are Ghosts. The band has been building a lot of deserving positive press recently around town on sites like The Austinist who also dropped an interview with the band several months ago. Being a bit new to the Austin music scene having formed only in 2008, it’s surprising to see such a fresh band growing so quickly. The recent rise in popularity is of course attributed to the quality of the band’s sound which has been compared to their Radiohead & Massive Attack cited influences. This writer is ready to call them a more atmospheric and electronic version of European bands like Muse. You definitely won’t hear the wailing rock guitars like that band, but Clouds Are Ghosts certainly have that “epic” feeling to their music. The band, fronted by Jason Morris, recently came off an east coast tour and also just released their debut self-titled LP back in September. We’re jumping on the hype bandwagon with this band and we’re betting you will too. If you’d like to hear more, the band is currently offering up their new LP for free high-quality download on their website. Live shows coming up are February 27th at Mohawk and a few TBA shows during SXSW. - AustinTownHall

"The Clouds Are Ghosts"

It’s no secret that I love indie folk-pop. Or folk-rock. Or folk. So, it’s always my pleasure to surprise you with something different like today’s featured band, The Clouds Are Ghosts. Hailing from our great state’s capital, Austin, this electroacoustic outfit brings futuristic sounds in a truly dramatic fashion. Layers of various sounds build beautiful textures that carry you to another world. The vocalist, imported from the fine southern state of Georgia, adds the extra layer this group needs to create a memorable impression, ascending to space at times while also dropping quick lyrics as heard in “Atomic Daydream.”

Since I’ve written more words than I can count today in various other assignments, I will make up for it in song. Well, songs. Songs from The Clouds Are Ghosts. In fact, it’s their entire album which is available for free at their web site. So, make sure you thank them in March when they play at Cold Fusion on the closing night of NX35. - The Neener

"Texas Platters: The Clouds Are Ghosts"

Three out of five band members listing synths second on their individual duty rosters, the fourth being the keyboardist, and the fifth leading with engineering/production means either the Clouds Are Ghosts are musical rocket scientists or Garbage. The moment this local quartet's eponymous debut opens to beats and synthesized melodrama heaving and sighing behind a piano-kissed vocal straight out of the nasal theatre of Placebo's Brian Molko, you know you're not in Kansas anymore, Toto. "Atomic Daydream" beats out jackrabbit skank under layers of synthesized radiation, and violin-swollen New Age gothic "We Are Not Alone" trades on Jason Morris' classic UK 1980s vocal dramatization ("Fields"). By the time both lead into the cutting rhythms of "Echo," you realize The Clouds Are Ghosts doesn't have a single hair out of place, perfectly segued and polished to a binary New Order. "Insomnia" and synthetic "Vampires" blur the second half – piano sonata "Underwater Level" – but paramount is "Orbiting," a busy signal of modern existential acquiescence.

*** - The Austin Chronicle (Raoul Hernandez)

"The Clouds Are Ghosts"

The Clouds Are Ghosts
The Clouds Are Ghosts

The Clouds Are Ghosts are an Austin-based electronic/ambient outfit who released their freshman effort in late 2009.

The self-titled disc, which is 10 tracks coming in at just over 33 minutes, is something I’ve not heard very often… electronic music that I don’t run from. I’m not a very big fan of the genre, mostly because I feel many of the bands that play this style concentrate too much on the synth-beats and not enough time formulating good lyrical content (if you’re in an electronic band and reading this, I’m talking about those other bands… not you). Not so with The Clouds Are Ghosts. They’ve got something really special going on.

Yes, the drum beats and synths provide the skeleton in the framework of each song, but the songs are fleshed out with guitar, violin, piano, and very well written lyrics.

Songs like “Change,” “Atomic Daydream,” and “Learning” have a real Depeche Mode feel to them. Vocalist Jason Morris’ voice has a strong presence and lends well to the music without overpowering or being overpowered. Alt-rock tracks like “Fields” and “Insomnia” align them musically to Austin’s The Soldier Thread.

They seemed to be very careful where the songs hit on the album, for it builds up to the climax track (number 7), “Vampires” then winds down.

Being that I’m not a huge electronic-music fan it makes sense that my favorite tracks are the piano-driven ballads. My favorite being “We Are Not Alone,” a song lamenting the end of a relationship. Musically it’s beautiful and lyrically it grabs my attention.

“Waiting for something to happen / something to turn this all around. Pick me up off of the ground. Trying to answer these questions / these questions are keeping me up at night. Leaving me here paralyzed. I cannot tell you why I see. Words are escaping me.”

This is truly emotional music… it evokes feeling. If you let the music in, it will take you on a journey. I’ve not seen them live but if they put it all out there like they seem to do on this record, they must be a phenomenal show to take in.

If you’ve been swayed by this review at all to take a listen to them, well I’ve got good news for you. Their entire album is available as a free download (.zip file). If you like that, how about a free show? Next Friday (3/19) they are playing at The Highball (1120 S. Lamar) with Seven Percent Solution, Death is Not A Joyride and four other bands.

The Clouds Are Ghosts are Jason Morris (vocals, synth, guitar), Erin Fillingame (piano), Jason Flitcraft (violin, synth, guitar), Steven Paul (guitar, synth), and Kevin Butler (percussion)

"It's All Good: The Clouds Are Ghosts"

I’m so hyped about this album right now. If you haven’t heard The Clouds Are Ghosts well, here’s your chance. At first listen their talent is undeniable. Expect an amazing mix of dense electronic layers and epic organic textures filled with violins, piano, and guitars. Jason Morris’ vocals pierces through with poetic resonance. In this age of computers, electronics, and bit rates let this music inject emotional sustenance and feeling back into your life if you believe it to be lacking. Highly Recommended -

"Album Review: The Clouds are Ghosts"

Album Review: The Clouds are Ghosts
July 21, 2010
tags: Austin, Bjork, Blonde Redhead, Queen, Radiohead, The Clouds are Ghosts
by austingirlmusicguide

The Clouds are Ghosts – 2009

Local Austin band The Clouds are Ghosts, composed of four members from Beaumont, TX and Savannah, GA, formed in 2008 and released their first album, The Clouds are Ghosts, late last year. Ever since then, they’ve been making the rounds in Austin’s music venues to drum up support for their album. I recently had the opportunity to listen to their debut, and among the many Austin bands I have heard, The Clouds are Ghosts have a certain sound, drive, and professionalism that differentiates them from the pack. Based on this album, they’re definitely one of the local bands to watch.

The Clouds are Ghosts does not fit neatly into any one genre, but instead pulls elements from many different musical styles and combines them to dramatic effect. The band’s particular brand of drama at times recalls Bjork, Radiohead, and Blonde Redhead, with a shot of Queen tossed in for good measure. As a result, there’s a lot to unpack here – pieces of industrial electronica, space rock, evocative electro-acoustic instrumentation, emo synths, and passionate vocals. The prevailing theme on the record is mysteriously dark emotion with a melodramatic flair. Despite how heavy all of that sounds, it’s an intensely satisfying listen, one that will have you clicking play more than once to catch all the different components.

In fact, listening to the album and hearing those different components gives the distinct impression that this band’s aspirations exist in an entirely different plane altogether. They’re futuristic, but somehow nostalgic. They’re emotionally wrenched, but still uplifting. The album is conceptually scenic, but individual tracks are still covertly engulfing. The violin and (really quite beautiful) piano work create warmth, while the synths take it away. It’s a real feat to keep a distance as well as to compel, but The Clouds are Ghosts pull it off in spades. There is so much quality musicianship on this album, and Jason Morris is an extremely versatile and talented vocalist. While some tracks do stand out more than others, my recommendation is to listen to the album as a whole for full effect. The Clouds are Ghosts clocks in at under 34 minutes and it’s time well worth spending.

The Clouds are Ghosts are giving the album away for free on their website. Download it, check it out, and let me know your opinions. - Austin Music Girl


The Clouds Are Ghosts - September 11, 2009
Harbinger (EP) - August 15th, 2011

All music from The Clouds Are Ghosts is available at



The Clouds are Ghosts is based in Austin, Texas. Formed in 2008, what started as a quartet has since evolved into a sextet. Simple sequenced electronics are typically the skeleton onto which the muscle of an intuitive rhythm section and warm synthesizers are added. Our skin is composed of dreamy piano, tastefully toned dual guitar work and powerful yet delicate vocals. Together we come together to create a large sound that despite its epic nature at times maintains dynamics. Since our inception, we have played in support of national touring acts such as MGMT, DJ Spooky, Zach Hill of Hella, The Appleseed Cast, The Black Heart Procession, The Crystal Method and Mogwai. A great deal of our music is influenced by Pink Floyd, Radiohead, M83, and post rock music. We have two releases - an eponymous full length album and a five song EP thus far, and are finishing up our third album with will be released near the end of 2012. We are a family. Music is our life. We have been through a lot together, and though there have been rough times we have stuck together due to the fact that we make music we think deserves to be heard, and are willing to work as hard as it takes to make that happen.