Cloth – Cloth album review

Hotly-tipped trio exist in a dream state on impressive debut album

If there's a lyric that encompasses Cloth's debut album, it's the one that arrives eight tracks in on 'Tripp'. 'I travel in daydreams', Rachael Swinton sings with crystalline precision, before the strange addition of 'and then I woke up'. The juxtaposition of dream states and the reality of what happens outside of your head is evoked throughout their impressive debut album. Swinton's lyrics scan as though they were thoughts being formed in real time, plaintive cries set to impossibly lush musical backdrops. It's not a coincidence that the final words on such an intimate record are 'there's no one else around'.

The hotly-tipped trio have backed up the promise of their early singles with a impressive debut album. The songwriting and, crucially, the skill of their arrangements, set them apart from many of their peers. It takes three songs and nearly seven minutes for something resembling a chorus to arrive. When it does, on early single 'Demo Love', it's an exhilarating thing, and enriches everything that came before. You hear it once and it vanishes, leaving you with renewed appreciation for the maxim that it's better to leave them wanting more. It's a marvellously constructed song, brimming with harmonics and mysterious vocals, as fully formed an introduction to a Scottish band as there's been for years. You'll want to play it back instantly.

'Demo Love' is the best song on this record, but there are other highlights. 'Felt' is exercise in restraint that recalls the revered debut by The xx (a band that Cloth share a lot in common with), while the guitar interplay on 'Tripp' (courtesy of Swinton and brother Paul) adds dynamism to the album's strongest ballad. Drummer and percussionist Clare Gallacher is a songwriter's dream – playing exactly what the song needs, capable of flair when required. This is a musical unit who completely buy into the dreamy universe they present. For now, the result is an album that rewards repeated listens, a richly abstract journey.

Out Fri 15 Nov on Last Night From Glasgow.

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