The Clouds – “Tranquil”

I’ve gotta give credit to Optic Nerve, their campaign of jangle pop singles reissues has been admirable, especially in a time when the feasibility of making money on a 7” seems slim. Yet, they carry on bringing back releases from The House of Love, James Dean Driving Experience, Meat Whiplash, The Loft and more with an ear for some of the best of the era. Next they’re shining a light on Scottish one-offs The Clouds. The band issued this single on both 7” and 12”, adding an extra track to the larger format, though the the ON folks squeeze all three onto the smaller format here, making this a unique pressing aside from the previous Subway issues.

Despite only recording the one single, the three songs here are all fairly killer. The band was anchored by the songwriting pair of brothers, John and Bill Charnley and the title track actually became a bit of a hit, reaching up to number 13 on the UK indie chart in 1988. “Tranquil” is a bit more woozy than the b-sides, with jangles bordering on power pop. The flip sides find the band digging further into the charms of jangle n’ twee, with “Get Out of My Dream” actually feeling like the strongest track here. The addition of “Village Green” is a great touch, showing the band’s punchy side. All of the singles in this series have been worth nabbing, but this one is a notable gem among the bunch.



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