the last clouds


Manchester based electronic duo The Last Clouds latest single “Songs From A Dying Star” is due to drop very soon.

In their own words this song is their “most important work to date”. “A powerful commentary on the unequal distribution of wealth and the pervasive commercialization and sexualization of society”.

So, being an 80s child I can’t help but adore the Synth sound, so will this song live up to my expectations? Lets see.

The first thing you are greeted by is a slow, dark, forboding soundscape. Sounding more like something from a film score. As the layers keep coming over time the film score feeling increases. Harsh, agressive synths cut through the mix. It certainly is a wall of sound, however the build up seems to continue with no real pay off.

With a faster tempo the mid-point of the song sounds like it could fit well into a big trance anthem, maybe even a dark drum and bass breakdown, but the lack of drums up to this point is a let down. Considering this is a 5 minute track the drums don’t appear until the last minute and a half. I can’t help but feel these could have been earlier, and when listening through something like a phone they get overpowered by the synths. This results in a feeling of a huge build for little reward.

Some may think that 5 minutes may be a bit too much for a single. I’m not part of that camp. I like to listen to lengthy songs as they can take you on a journey. Unfortunately, for me, this journey doesn’t seem to start before it’s finished.

When the vocals come in it feels a little too early. It feels a bit rushed, not giving enough room for the build to breathe and evolve.

The singer seems like they are trying to channel their inner Brian Molko, a similar tone and way that the lyrics are delivered. Although as the song continues i’m not sure that they match as good as they should. That’s not to say the vocals are bad in the slightest. Maybe just, on this occasion, mismatched. With a full band sound with distorted guitars I think it would be a blinder.

At times it feels a bit awkward, little pauses waiting for a note to hit as they are slighlty in front of the track. A bit of a stalling feel to it that somehow makes me feel a bit uneasy. Maybe a bit robotic, which could fit with the Synthwave genre but i’m not sure it’s intentional here.

The 2 entities could easily stand on their own. I personally think that with the backing of a band with distorted guitars the lyrics would work much better. The music itself would perhaps work better as an instrumental piece in a concept album, a Sythwave Tubular Bells if you will. I am not, for one moment, saying that there is no talent here as there clearly is. It’s just for me this pairing misses the mark.

That being said let’s not take away from the effort taken to craft the song. A lot of thought has gone into it, from the lyrics, the subject and the dynamics. The execution of each a being a great job. It’s easy for me to sit here and try to analyse a song, to pick it apart and comment on it, but it takes a lot to write, record and release music. And music is an art form, and we all know that art is subjective, so get yourselves over to The Last Clouds spotify and make up your own mind.