Scattered Clouds marks today’s release of their transportive sophomore album TAKE AWAY YOUR SUMMER with a new video for the song “Days on End.” Created by the duo of Huot+Vallentin, the video tells “a bleak futuristic lonesome cowboy tale about personal reinvention, and leaving the comforting oppression of familiarity behind,” says the band. Taking both sonic and visual cues from the canon of classic 80’s sci-fi films, we see the protagonist, played by frontman Philippe Charbonneau, trying to escape an unknown presence as blue electricity surges through his body, each jolt reorganizing his very fabric. From the directors:
“We fear most what we cannot see. Our protagonist has been walking for days on end—for what purpose? Good, evil, revenge, escape? Should we pity or fear the tortured man who once walked among us? The story fumbles many knots without untangling any of them, clearing in front of us a path of endless questions.”
Inspired by the dichotomous terrain of their hometown of Hull, Québec, TAKE AWAY YOUR SUMMER is a futuristic broken romance set amidst a burning dystopian landscape. The Hull, Québec experimental duo of Charbonneau and Jamie Kronick’s explores themes of political conspiracy, post-capitalism, police brutality and nihilism through the lens of auto-fictional narratives told in both English and French prose. With a sonic palette that calls to mind the retro-synthetic tint of iconic soundtracks like Vangelis’ Blade Runner, John Carpenter’s Escape From New York, Brad Fiedel’s The Terminator, and Tangerine Dream’s The Sorcerer, TAKE AWAY YOUR SUMMER balancing tones of ecstasy and unease on the razor thin line between cacophony and delight.
“This album was produced at a time not long ago where we saw the rise or the return of extreme political parties across the planet, a time that we already know as the start of the end of the world,” says the band. “Our goal was to create a detached sort of political commentary that in its foreignness shines a mirror on the reality of these horrors, but still manages to wrest fleeting moments of beauty.”
Featuring artwork based on a photo of a quietly burning dépanneur in Hull, the imagery captures the ominous yet seductive confines of Scattered Clouds’ vivid anti-utopia. The nine songs of TAKE AWAY YOUR SUMMER cover a broad spectrum of weathered futurism: from the thrashing, thundering charge of album opener “Justice” to the stark claustrophobia of their album-closing cover of Peter Gabriel’s “Intruder.”
However, through its infatuation with apocalypse and the commonness of brutality, the album’s true dynamic is shown in its subtle mastery of texture and melody. Some of the album’s most rewarding moments come in the restrained consonance and infectious groove of “Don’t Question Me,” and in the tragic balladry of “Broken Spirits” – a crestfallen duet with Montrealer Lisa Iwanicky Moore (Blood and Glass, Little Scream) that admits the incompatibility of human beings, a bittersweet ending of a Lynchian Blue Velvet romance.
TAKE AWAY YOUR SUMMER was written, recorded, and produced by Scattered Clouds in Hull, Québec, working collaboratively with co-producer Michael John Dubue (of HILOTRONS) and Grammy-nominated Ottawa engineer Philip Shaw Bova. The fidelity of their collaboration shines across the detailed timbre of razor sharp guitar, lush synthesizers, and echoic space that expound on the album’s lyrical themes. The propulsive rhythm of songs like “Hors-la-loi” and “Intruder” capture the visceral sensation of impending doom with live recordings of two and three drummers, respectively, underpinning the atmosphere.
TAKE AWAY YOUR SUMMER is out now on vinyl and digital formats by Boiled Records, the Toronto & Philadelphia-based record label who earlier this year released fellow Hull band FET.NAT’s fantastic Polaris Music Prize-nominated LP, Le Mal.
Scattered Clouds recently completed a tour supporting SUUNS through Europe, and an east coast jaunt with Mauno, having previously shared the stage with Andy Shauf, Timber Timbre, Jerusalem In My Heart, and others. The TAKE AWAY YOUR SUMMER TOUR continues with Festival OFF de Québec, and album launch shows in Toronto, Montréal, Kingston and Hull.
Photo Credit : Jamie Kronick // DOWNLOAD HIGH RES
TAKE AWAY YOUR SUMMER TRACK LISTING
2. La politique, concours pseudo-érotique
3. Don’t Question Me
4. Days On End
5. Broken Spirits
7. Morning After
TAKE AWAY YOUR SUMMER TOUR DATES
July 6 - Québec, QC - Festival OFF
July 13 - Toronto, ON - Baby G w/ Badge Époque
July 19 - Montréal, QC - l’Escogriffe w/ Orchids
July 20 - Hull, QC - Minotaure w/ Orchidae