There is a fine line between dark and light music but Cloud Boat has seemed to dance across that line with their new album Book of Hours. Sam Ricketts and Tom Clarke began picking strings together at a young age and have traveled down the road of defining themselves as musicians. Books of Hours surely seems to be a step down that path as they claim they weren’t sure where they were going with this collection. Usually, a debut album is a great indication about where an artist is going and what type of statement they are trying to make. It is still left up in the air what exactly defines this group. There was an unbelievable effort in making this piece, but there is much more room for growth and the potential for greater music is all there.
The album is very focused on instrumentals and creates a special ambiance that you can’t get with too much of today’s modern music. The British duo has created a big time platform for thinking with their tracks. The feeling that the music gives you can sway you left to right, up and down. It is vague, and the music is up for interpretation for each listener. The extreme vagueness in the sound leaves the mood up to the perception of the listener. For me personally, I definitely got a European, cathedral church type of sound. Lord knows I haven’t been to church in years and could use a few trips to the confessional booth, but Book of Hours bought me a good year and a half for that trip.
All jokes aside, the special part about the album is the incorporation of electronic music with some standard guitar and piano playing. Every song has a deep, cathedral mood to it. The chords they strike with the electronics stay even keeled. Every music teacher that has taught music writing always speaks about bringing the song “home” and you seem to wait for that chord to strike in the music. The listener waits for the time where the track hits it’s peak. Ricketts and Clark keep you at a build up while you wait for that moment to come. It’s comparable to your favorite TV show hitting a commercial break before the main character heads into a shootout but it never comes back on. It absolutely left me wanting more but also left me unsatisfied. If you’re in the mood for something completely different to open you up a bit, Book of Hours might take you there.