Album #45: Cloth – Cloth

  • Released: 2019
  • Origin: Glasgow, Scotland
  • Label: Last Night from Glasgow
  • Best Track: Curiosity Door

Facebook is, as we all know, a total arsehole, but one area in which it’s proved useful is in connecting music fans, exposing local bands to a wide but like-minded audience. A Glaswegian music lover’s postings alerted me to this band from his home city, who brought out their self-titled debut LP last November.

Cloth could be described as a marriage of the claustrophobia and vague trip-hoppiness of Portishead, and the angular stop-start riffs of Fugazi, or perhaps more neatly summarised as a more post-punk version of the xx. ‘Felt’ is a song I could imagine Ian Mackaye writing, but given a different dynamic by Rachel Swinton’s gentle, sombre vocals – one of fear and paranoia.

This album isn’t exactly one of killer choruses (with the exception of ‘Old Bear’, which is the first point where we hear Swinton’s Scottish accent really come through), but is more notable for its atmosphere and intensity. I particularly love the gravity and aura of ‘Curiosity Door’, as well as the mysteriously soothing closer ‘Brooklyn’.

Minimal, yet precise and controlled, it all adds up to an album you want to listen to again as soon as it’s finished, and you’ll notice something new every time you do, whether it’s the chattering voices in the background of ‘Demo Love’ or the atmospheric rainfall as ‘Sleep’ concludes (it’s been pissing it down here for weeks so I might well have just mistaken that for outdoor noise on first listen).

Cloth appear to be revered by just about all who have heard them, including 6Music’s Huw Stephens and Elbow’s Guy Garvey. It’s to be hoped that they continue to gather the following they deserve. An inspired debut.

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