Clouds Make Sounds
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Clouds Make Sounds

Williamsport, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF

Williamsport, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF
Band Rock Folk

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Clouds Make Sounds combines “difficult” rhythms with an introspective aesthetic to create multi-part folk-pop songs, where the focus is on texture and dynamics rather than on verse-chorus-verse. At the same time, Clouds Make Sounds is not afraid to raise its folk-y idiom to the next level. The result is a promising band with a coalescing sound that is far more developed than the members’ ages suggest.


Clouds Make Sounds is a product of Williamsport, PA’s Uptown Music Collective, a music school that specializes in teaching music lessons and workshops. “We owe every bit of our musical training and professionalism we have to the Collective,” bassist Joe Marchese says. Marchese and guitarist Deron Johnson teach jazz workshops at the Collective, and their training shows—on “Chasing Joy,” complex polyrhythms and lilting melodies support each other, reaching a level of rhythmic proficiency one usually only finds in metal. Josh Hines’ crystal tenor is a highlight, underlining the melodic strengths of the songs.


With members ranging from 16 to 21 years of age (Vocalists Shannon Cantor, is still in high school), Clouds Make Sounds is definitely a young band. So it is all the more impressive that the level of musicianship is exceptional, that the song structures are this complex, and that there is so much room to grow within the constructs of the band’s sound. The five-member group has just released its self-titled debut and is touring around New York and Philadelphia. An East Coast tour is approaching, and it will be interesting to see where this young band can go.
- Ari Lipsitz


It’s true that I am frequently moved by music I’m listening to. It happens all the time. However, I clicked on the website for Williamsport, PA band Clouds Make Sounds, and kind of sat at my desk with my mouth hanging open. I’m in their thrall, they’ve got me. And I cannot figure out why. I can’t tell you exactly what it is that keeps bringing me back to their page to listen, but I have to offer them up in a beautiful light in case you feel it too! We’re going to get them at the Utica Music and Arts Festival on Saturday, September 17th at O’Donnell’s Pub and Grill at 9:00 p.m.

I’m at a loss for how to describe this music, also! They are self described as rock/indie/folk, but this is so much more. Josh Hines, Deron Johnson, Jeff Mach, Joe Marchese, and Shannon Cantor are making some kind of sonic magic that makes me want to say random descriptive words like soaring tones of bliss and sounds of peace. The music that a heart makes. Then, they rock for a minute or two, no doubt! And then, then my people, they drop it all out in startling harmonies that wrench something deep inside of you. There is so much texture to this music and if you believe at all that sound can raise your vibration, you need to see this band in September. You will feel it dance along the corridors of your vascular system- an energy exchange via sound. Then I found out none of them are past their mid twenties and that might just make these folks even more interesting. Great innate sense of music! Would you like some words strung together that actually help you figure out what they sound like? Good luck. Joe’s description is perfect, probably because it’s just as abstract- “A dynamic flexing of melodic and rhythmic muscles within the confines of a child’s storybook.” Erik Jensen of Upstate Live fame suggests they are Vampire Weekend-esque. I do agree that you can hear a reminiscence. You’re just going to have to click the link below and take a listen! There is no reason I can conceive that this band is not a household name already. We are in for a treat, Utica! - umafmelissa – The Meme-Brain


Community Arts Center Executive Director Rob Steele is convinced the sky is the limit for local rockers Clouds Make Sounds.

He is so convinced, in fact, he is giving the youthful band a boost toward that goal by producing its performance tonight at the arts center.

"I'm putting the assets of the Community Arts Center behind the band 100 percent," Steele said. "What I'm doing is producing their show and helping them as a band to take their artistic vision to the stage."

"We're going to do it right - using theatrical drops, special effects, such as haze and smoke and fans, and intelligent lighting," he said.

Steele said he believes the band, which is composed of musicians ages 17 to 21, has the talent, drive and professionalism to soar.

"Their commitment to what they are doing is intense," he said. "They did a show at the Capitol Lounge (at the arts center) and between sets, instead of talking to people, they sat around a table and talked about how they could make things better."

Steele described Cloud Make Sound's style as "progressive rock - but they really personalize it."

"I wouldn't attach it to any particular style," he said. "It's much more than a catchy melody. Their lyrics are terrific."

"It's indie folk-rock, if you are going to categorize it," said the band's singer-guitarist Josh Hines. "It's very melody-driven. There are rock moments and parts that are very soft and subtle. It covers a wide range of dynamics."

Although tonight's show will be the first for the group at the Community Arts Center, the venue is a familiar one for its respective members. Hines and the rest of the band - singer Shannon Cantor, guitarist Deron Johnson, bassist Joe Marchese and drummer Jeff Mach - are Uptown Music Collective alumni who have participated in numerous collective productions at the center.

"I've played on that stage with the collective, but to do our own music is astounding," said Marchese.

Johnson agreed.

"I'm really excited. We're really

grateful to have been given this chance," Johnson said. "It's not often a local band has the opportunity to play on a big stage like this. We've all played here before, but this is special because it's our music."

Mach said he is "extremely psyched" about the performance. The band originally planned the gig earlier in the spring, but Hines broke his wrist and the show had to be rescheduled, he said.

That, in turn, proved to be a blessing, because it allowed the band to better prepare for tonight's performance, he said.

"You never know till it happens, but I think it's going to be a really good show," Mach said.

In Hines' eyes, the collective's role in the group's existence cannot be understated.

"We have connections because of the Uptown Music Collective. We have the knowledge because of Uptown Music Collective," he said. "Everything we have musically has come from (collective Executive Director) Dave Brumbaugh and the collective."

The band formed a little more than a year ago following the dissolution of a band called Doc Mach and the Field Surgeons, Hines said. The original "clouds" were Hines, Johnson, Marchese and Mach.

Cantor joined the group during the recording of its debut, self-titled CD, which was recorded in July and August last year at Bob Yoas' Creekside Studio in Loyalsockville. The CD was released in late March, Hines said.

Cantor, who will be senior this fall at Loyalsock High School, was initially brought in to sweeten several songs on the album, Hines said.

"We realized she would be great as a permanent member of the band," Hines said. "She is a very intelligent musician at her age. She has brought a softer, more gentler personality to the band (which) allows for greater contrast in the music. She also has great ideas when we are writing."

Typically, Hines and Johnson work on songs, then bring them to the rest of the band for development, Hines said.

Steele said he is pulling out the stops for tonight's show. In working with the band, he challenged them to think about their CD and what colors and seasons the songs in it conjure up.

"I challenged them to think about their album as a story," Steele said. "We want to bring the audience into their story. We want (the show) to be worthy of the band's talent, their dedication and work ethic."

"For any band to have the Community Arts Center behind them is a blessing," Hines said. "It's huge, it's awesome. We really can't thank Rob enough for what he's done to help us out." - Sun Gazette


Gorgeous, enthusiastic recordings, painstakingly captured tones and lilting nuance populate the latest release from Philadelphia indie band Clouds Make Sounds. In the spirit of Polyphonic Spree, Animal Collective and too many other easies to need endure comparison, this startlingly fresh broker of hypnotic sonnets claims to have been bred of “sincere friendships” and “youthful musings.”
The four original members began writing and working as recently as January of 2010 and already they are leaving a mark wherever they are heard. The music that they create, quite simply, turns heads. It demands complete attention, alternately serene and bombastic, passionate and playful, it is something to completely lose yourself in. And that is exactly what those who have seen Clouds in their hometown and along the east coast will tell you.

Clouds entered the studio in July 2010 and after a month of 8-12 hour days finished recording their first full length album. In the process Clouds enlisted the help of Shannon Cantor, who they added as a part-time member in August 2010. Part time so that she can fulfill her other obligations, mainly high school. After a few near-dormant fall months and their very first tour in the Winter of 2010-2011, they finished mixing and mastering the album and are releasing it on March 25th, 2011, a year after their very first show.

Their album exhibits the broad range of their musical influence and prowess. Jeff Buckley meets Fiona Apple in a forest of driving poly-rhythms, folk sensibilities, dense harmonies, and an ever-present all-encompassing atmosphere. Their music is heard with the ears, but felt in the chest.

MZ: Who?
Josh Hines – Vocals, Guitar
Deron Johnson – Vocals, Guitar
Joe Marchese – Bass
Jeff Mach – Drums
Shannon Cantor – Vocals

MZ: Where?
Williamsport, Pa

MZ: For How Long?
Since January 2010

We’re trying to play around as much as we can trying to play regularly in the cities closest to us, New York and Philadelphia. We’re working on organizing a tour that will take us through Ohio and Nashville and all the way down to Florida and back up the East Coast with some friends this Summer. - Music Zeitgeist


Discography

LPs
Clouds Make Sounds (2011)

Photos

Bio

Clouds Make Sounds was born of sincere friendships, youthful musings, and genuine talent. The four original members began writing and working in January of 2010. The music that they create, quite simply, turns heads. It demands complete attention, alternately serene and bombastic, passionate and playful, it is something to completely lose yourself in. And that is exactly what those who have seen Clouds in their hometown and along the east coast will tell you.

Clouds entered the studio in July 2010 and after a month of 8-12 hour days finished recording their first full length album. In the process Clouds enlisted the help of Shannon Cantor, who they added as a part-time member in August 2010. Part time so that she can fulfill her other obligations, mainly high school. After a few near-dormant fall months and their very first tour in the Winter of 2010-2011, they finished mixing and mastering the album and are releasing it on March 25th, 2011, a year after their very first show.

Clouds Make Sounds is definitely a young band. So it is all the more impressive that the level of musicianship is exceptional, that the song structures are this complex, and that there is so much room to grow within the constructs of the band’s sound.

Their album exhibits the broad range of their musical influence and prowess. Jeff Buckley meets Fiona Apple in a forest of driving poly-rhythms, folk sensibilities, dense harmonies, and an ever-present all-encompassing atmosphere. Their music is heard with the ears, but felt in the chest.

on “Chasing Joy,” complex polyrhythms and lilting melodies support each other, reaching a level of rhythmic proficiency one usually only finds in metal. Josh Hines’ crystal tenor is a highlight, underlining the melodic strengths of the songs.

Members: Josh Hines, Deron Johnson, Jeff Mach, and Joe Marchese

Gorgeous, enthusiastic recordings, painstakingly captured tones and lilting nuance populate the latest release from indie band Clouds Make Sounds. In the spirit of Polyphonic Spree, Animal Collective and too many other easies to need endure comparison, this startlingly fresh broker of hypnotic sonnets claims to have been bred of “sincere friendships” and “youthful musings.” -MusicZeitgeist

Clouds Make Sounds combines “difficult” rhythms with an introspective aesthetic to create multi-part folk-pop songs, where the focus is on texture and dynamics rather than on verse-chorus-verse. At the same time, Clouds Make Sounds is not afraid to raise its folk-y idiom to the next level. The result is a promising band with a coalescing sound that is far more developed than the members’ ages suggest. -CMJ