I’d be willing to bet that Fight Cloud is going to surprise a lot of people with their leap-day release, We’ll Be Alright.
For starters, the album is dense. The overall lightness in tone might suggest something more casual, background music, but We’ll Be Alright proves itself to be anything but. Each track is an exploration of both songwriting and theme, circling a kind of singular sonic concept, but like a Pantone® guide book, provides near endless variation. You’ll see the nucleus fairly quickly; right from the start the idea behind the album is apparent, but it’s in digging into each track, how it performs its own interpretation and interacts with what surrounds it, that the real joy lies. Each song manages to carve out its own worthiness among the 11 tracks, marrying what could easily be a collection of singles into a unique and fulfilling conceptual whole.
While each song works on its own, the construction of the album is meticulous and masterful. Songs will transition between segments using hard 90 degree shifts, something math rock aficionados are entirely used to, coupled with a bleeding effect that sees tracks leak into one another (again, not something inherently groundbreaking in and of itself), which creates a disorienting sense of never quite knowing where your favorite hook comes up, should you try and pinpoint any given section. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but when you listen to it for the first time, throw the whole album on repeat.
Strong hooks throughout belie a depth of atmosphere and mood, which can so often be missing from more technically-driven works. Intricate riffs are often layered over ethereal guitar patterns, creating a sense of space underneath the song-driving leads that makes for a more satisfying experience on subsequent listens. Fight Cloud’s ethereal vocals have always lent themselves well to this, but are pushed to new emotional heights this time around, varying from soothing to legitimately worthy of goosebumps.
Fight Cloud has said that this will probably be the last release they make together, which is disappointing considering that We’ll Be Alright feels so much like them fully coming into their own. Being left with such a magnum opus of a record is bittersweet, and while I’m sure we can all beg them not to go, I’m sure that we can all look forward to whatever’s next for them.