There are certain bands who possess the remarkable ability to capture the human experience with raw honesty and undeniable emotion. Cloud House is one of those bands. The Glasgow five-piece are on the verge of releasing their second EP, a collection of songs tackling themes of grief, hope, resilience, childhood struggles, longing, loss, and personal growth. Sonically it sees the band finding their stride with an expansive, stadium-ready sound.
Cloud House was formed in a hot tub in 2019, but it was a dream in the making for much longer for the five musicians, Conor, Patrick, Jack, Calum, and Morgan. Their empowering, relatable songs are the result of an eclectic collection of tastes, and this new collection ‘Still Here’ was written and recorded shortly after the loss of lead singer Conor’s mother, who died after a long illness. “She was given three years to live twenty years ago,” says Conor, “My mum would always say to me whenever anything weird happened – ‘you have to use this in a song’, she always taught me to take inspiration from my life so when she died, it was natural for me to create a lot of the songs on this EP. It’s a weird situation for me because I keep thinking f**k, these are the best songs I’ve ever written about the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.”
The band members’ individual musical journeys have shaped their unique sound, with each member bringing their own eclectic tastes to the table. Conor’s experiences with Green Day brought his confident stage presence, while Calum embarked on a journey of psychedelic exploration during his university years, listening to music with weird time signatures. Patrick, who had a background in classical music, found solace and a renewed passion for music in the debut album of 1975. The release coincided with the loss of his father, and the album’s impact compelled him to pick up a guitar and delve into the world of indie rock. Alongside his love for bands like Green Day and the realms of pop-punk, Patrick’s diverse musical background, including a fondness for the classics like Steely Dan, adds depth and richness to Cloud House’s sound. Jack, whose father’s offshore work brought an abundance of music from around the world, soaked up influences from a wide range of artists, starting from older bands like Cream and transitioning into more contemporary sounds as he grew older.
Loss and grief is a topic close to the band’s heart, and their new EP is anchored in the subject. It’s this raw, honest emotion that has made the band’s music so relatable, and a fact that they only realised playing one of these more recent songs live. “At a gig, we played one of the songs Conor had written about his mum,” explains Calum, “It happened shortly after one of my partner’s friends had tragically lost her mother to cancer. The song resonated with her so profoundly that she was moved to tears. She was determined to meet Conor, and she still recalls that moment to this day. Additionally, I recently discovered that a family friend, who was like an uncle to me during my younger years, his dad had actually passed away on the same day. Despite this, he attended the gig too, describing it as cathartic”
This cathartic experience is something the band hopes will carry through the entire EP and into all of their live shows. “I love nothing more than listening to an album and thinking, this is like my thoughts. I would love it if people feel that about us,” Calum says.
Their forthcoming EP explores the multifaceted nature of resilience, loss, and the power of hope amidst life’s darkest moments. Each song serves as a chapter in a larger story, unveiling the triumphs and tribulations that have shaped the band’s collective consciousness. From the poignant vulnerability of ‘Still Here,’ which grapples with the helplessness of supporting a grieving friend. The song was written by Patrick, for Conor after the death of his mother. “I wrote the song during a time when Conor needed to be grieving on his own,” Patrick explains. “It came from a place of feeling really helpless – wanting to be there for your best friend but knowing that there’s nothing you can really do or say that makes anything easier.”
On the introspection of ‘Wasting Time,’ the weight of grief and the struggle to move forward collide. “When my mum passed away I had to move out of our childhood home almost immediately,” explains Conor, “I had to pack up all her things and leave within two months. It was hellish. I was so focused on getting everything sorted that I never took the time to remember the house the way I wanted.”
With unflinching honesty, the band delve into their own personal histories, illuminating the profound impact of their relationships, childhood struggles, and the indomitable spirit of their loved ones. In ‘Don’t Wanna Talk,’ Conor confronts the burden of responsibility as a young boy caring for his mother. “This song is about a journey I used to take as a young boy,” says Conor. “My mum was ill throughout my childhood and I cared for her since I was old enough to remember. I always felt like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders as it was just Mum and I on our own. I used to put on a brave face for her but deep down it was a struggle for me. I wanted to be a kid. I wanted her to get better. I used to get the bus home and go past my stop as I didn’t want to go home quite yet.”
Through their music, Cloud House captures the raw essence of the human experience. Their melodies become a powerful vessel, carrying the weight of their shared emotions and providing solace and understanding to their listeners. As their reputation continues to soar, the band finds themselves on the cusp of greatness. They are set to headline a highly anticipated show at Glasgow’s renowned King Tut’s around the release of the EP. Their music is ready to fill even bigger venues, making this the perfect time to witness their meteoric rise firsthand.
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Written by: Tara