It’s been several years since Richmond has heard from melodic indie-rockers Fight Cloud, but they’re back with a new album and a video that’ll remind us all why we loved them in the first place.
Fight Cloud is back! Those who have been following Richmond’s indie rock scene for most of the past decade will remember this quartet, who were part of a loose-knit group of similar bands that also included Night Idea and Houdan The Mystic. We haven’t heard from them in several years — their last release was 2016 LP We’ll Be Alright — but as it turns out, they’ve been woodshedding, putting together an album’s worth of new material, for almost the entire time.
“After our last release, we decided to go on a hiatus due to the transitional periods and uncertainty of our personal futures,” said guitarist Mitch Clem over email. However, a one-off performance in 2017 sparked a quick return to the project. “Playing again sparked the drive and we decided to give another album a shot,” Clem explained. “Since then we’ve finished the album, but our bassist and drummer (Paul and Miles) have both moved to Austin, Texas.” The band is continuing with a reconstituted rhythm section that includes Ethan Kuhn of Houdan The Mystic on bass and Gabe De Los Santos of Big Fundamental on drums.
Today, we’re premiering the video for advance single “Home Alone,” the first track from Fight Cloud’s forthcoming LP, Thoughts Aligned. “The song is about the nostalgia and the friendship we’ve had as a band, from where we were before to now,” said Clem. “The video is a reflection of that message.”
The video, directed by John Shutika, features a decidedly pastoral setting: a house and its sprawling rural surroundings, which longtime listeners might recognize as the house where Fight Cloud has held songwriting retreats for several years now. Dappled by afternoon sun, the video shows the band and some friends spend a relaxing afternoon exploring the grounds; along the way, they play the song while sitting in a hayloft, standing in a river, and riding a wagon through the woods. Speaking as someone who has really found the city depressing in recent months, this video is the perfect cure for my wintertime blues.
“Home Alone” fits with this carefree-country vibe, focusing on melody and subtle mood in the way the best Fight Cloud songs always have, and sneaking up on you with unexpected emotional depth and impact after it’s lulled you into a smooth, relaxed state. It’s a worthy heir to We’ll Be Alright, which marked the best material Fight Cloud had brought into the world thus far. If “Home Alone” is indicative of what we can expect musically from Thoughts Aligned, Fight Cloud’s return will be welcome indeed.
Celebrate the release of Thoughts Aligned with Fight Cloud at Poor Boys on February 15. They’ll be performing along with Young Scum, Net Negative, and Goodnight Daniel. The official release of Thoughts Aligned is scheduled for a week earlier, on February 7, so keep an eye on the band’s social media channels for ways you can pick up a copy. You’re not going to want to live without this album any longer than you have to.
Photos courtesy Fight Cloud. Top Photo by Kristin Russ.