Mark & The Clouds — Blue Skies Opening
(Mega Dodo , 2014, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2014-09-16The cover art is a great match for the band’s name as well as the album title, but it does not prepare you for what you will hear. Mark and the Clouds is fronted by singer and songwriter Marco Magnani. What you experience on Blue Skies Opening is an infectious set of catchy pop psych songs. There is a plethora of influences percolating throughout the disc from John Lennon to The Everly Brothers to rockabilly. The music grabs you with the very first song, “In the Storm,” with its rocking psych rhythms, musical hooks, and vocal harmonies like The Beach Boys, as well as a hint of The Raveonettes. There is even a slight nod to Tex Mex and Doug Sahm on “The Grudge.” “Darkened River” is particularly outstanding with its Gothic western attitude that conjures up images of the band Guano Padano, especially the whistling. Then “For All Diamonds to Shine” prompts a comparison to Donovan’s “Epistle to Dippy.” The frustration for me is that many of the musical references are elusive, though they sound familiar. The closing song “Are You Taking Time?” is powerful and a great way to end the disc, making you want more. Blue Skies Opening is a fantastic debut release and it is available as both a limited edition blue vinyl LP (released July 28) as well as a CD (released July 14). In addition, to complement the release of their album, Mark and the Clouds have also released a free single with the title track b/w “I’ll Follow the Sound,” a non-album song. Blue Skies Opening is a fun and breathtaking release that is sure to please.
Related artist(s): Mark and the Clouds
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more