Cloud Boat - 'Model Of You' - Cover- 2014

CLOUD BOAT‘Model Of You’

01. Prelude
02. Hideaway
03. Carmine
04. Portraits Of Eyes
05. Bricks Are For
06. The Glow
07. Golden Lights
08. Aurelia
09. Thoughts In Mine
10. Told You
11. All Of My Years
12. Hallow



Quick follow-up records can be a tricky situation. They often tend to be produced in a hurry, providing nothing more than just the same thing you heard on the album before. British electronic duo CLOUD BOAT accepted the tough challenge to release a second album only 14 months after the first one. And still, Model Of You doesn’t fall for all the ‘second-album’-mistakes. It feels more like a logical continuation to the tender debut album Book Of Hours, freeing their sound from strict genre limitations while evolving into something new and exciting.

Sam Ricketts and Tom Clarke want to be more than just another British electronic project that uses elements from the all-hyped ‘post-dubstep’-genre. They already made this quite clear on Book Of Hours as they took the ideas of artists like MOUNT KIMBIE and JAMES BLAKE to the next level in terms of emotional honesty. It felt more like a traditional singer/songwriter album with electronic elements. It was very basic, reduced to its essential themes and also quite dark and melancholic.

While desperation was a key theme on Book Of Hours this new album brightens the music of CLOUD BOAT a bit up. Everything on Model Of You is screaming: ‘more.’ Progress is sensible everywhere. Better production, richer instrumentation, more pop appeal and focus. Ambition is the key motor of these two British gentlemen. Although these are all usual ‘mistakes’ of second albums CLOUD BOAT manage to cope it with dignity and creativity.

As Prelude opens the album you immediately sense the richer instrumentation. The duo unveils an almost FOALS-like math rock environment before switching over to the epic Hideaway. Here the band’s new won confidence fully breaks loose. Big drums and a world-embracing chorus that is almost too much for Clarke’s tender voice. Quite an adjustment. The following Carmine brings us back to earth with its gentle dreampop flair.

But still it’s not just about big emotions and big instrumentations on the longplayer. Bricks Are For takes us back to the tender sweetness of the debut, same goes for the bittersweet piano ballad Told YouCLOUD BOAT allow themselves complexity on Model Of You which also gives space for a fancy dance tune like Aurelia. But still the focus lies on multi-layered synthesizer sound landscapes with a floating feeling of. Hallow right at the end takes us to the highest highs of the duo’s musical concept and presents a quite epic finish for this album.

CLOUD BOAT are still masters of gentle songwriting. Tom Clarke’s voice is soulful and fragile as on the debut but also shows a new form of self-confidence. Same goes for the sound of the duo. They know what they are capable of and they clearly aren’t interested in repeating themselves and their formula. Model Of You isn’t a second Book Of Hours, basically because the world doesn’t need one. It’s progress on all levels. And we’re looking forward to more from these two gentlemen.


‘Model Of You’ is an ambitious second album that extents the musical microcosm of CLOUD BOAT by a lot of new ideas and twists while keeping the gentle formula in its core.

NBHAP Rating: 4,5/5