Best Jon Boats

Model Of You [lp] - Vinyl

by Imports (Miscellaneous)

When they emerged with their 2013 debut, Book of Hours, British duo Cloud Boat offered up a kind of deeply ambient folktronica, pairing dark, murky synth textures with pensive vocals and quietly picked guitars. It was a haunting and sometimes difficult listen that mixed the songwriter-based crossover appeal of James Blake with the darker sonic meanderings of Jon Hopkins. Wasting no time on their follow-up, members Sam Ricketts and Tom Clarke paired up with producer Andy Savours (My Bloody Valentine, Sigur R¢s, the Horrors) to record Model of You, released just one year later. No less sad than its predecessor, Model of You represents a sort of significant growth inward for the band. If their debut sounded like it was recorded in a small windowless room, much of their second offering sounds like it was recorded in the cathedral they excavated in their basement. Rather than busting down the front door, they've expanded inside their own sound, adding big, skittering drum sections, walls of chiming guitars, and a rich choral fabric that makes tracks like the anthemic "Hideaway" and the deep, glacial ballad "All of My Years" sound vast, yet somehow contained. There are elements of shoegaze and even dark, uptempo dance on the pop-leaning tracks "Aurelia" and "Thoughts in Mine." For those who wished the melancholic brooding of Cloud Boat's debut would live on forever, they still offer up several quiet, downcast numbers like "Bricks Are For" and "Told You" that are more in keeping with their earlier work. As a whole, Model of You shows a marked improvement from their debut and a distinct line of evolution, which is tough to pull off in such a short gap between releases. ~ Timothy Monger
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