Citrus Clouds are a shoegazey dream pop band active since (according to their bandcamp page) 2016. The three piece from Phoenix, Arizona dropped their new album “Collider” via Lollipop Records earlier this month.
As with any dream pop band the mind immediately refers to My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive.
Oddly, the first reference that pops up from the off isn’t either of these! Stacie Huttleston’s simple “Summer Babe” Pavement bass line in opener “Honey” sets a solid base for Erick Pineda’s glistening, spacious guitars, while Angelica Pedrego’s drums drive the pulse. Huttleston and Pineda’s distant dual vocals are gorgeous combined. It serves as a great launching pad for “A Pastel Sky”. The tripped out guitar waves cannot avoid comparisons to MBV. The vocals are used to great textural effect too, with Pineda’s post chorus growls projecting the track to another level. The outro drums create an unexpected off beat that nearly trips the song up. When I first heard it I thought there was a glitch in the file! Upon this being repeated I realised it was deliberate.
Citrus Clouds drop the pace on the soft, dreamy “Whoa”, which makes the impact of the following “In A Daydream” all the stronger. The melodies are so direct here, whilst the thick fog of delay and reverb creates a gargantuan chasm. Just as the song seems to start drifting the band switch gears and a driving 4/4 beat accompanies a ripping guitar solo.
“Let Love Find You”, a beautiful, expansive ballad, works as the centre piece of the album. There are hints of the brilliant Winter in the sweet melodies while the quiet-loud-quiet structure launches the song into the stratosphere. The title track follows, picking up the pace and adding some weighty distortion.
There’s a dark undertone here that recalls the Norwegian band Serena Maneesh.
There are 80s vibes to the tense and more sombre sounding “Summer Everywhere” while “Feel The Spirit” condenses everything that came before it into the length of a punk song.
As I find often with dream pop, I somewhat need a breather by this point, and “Whenever That Might Be”, whilst still awash with noise, does this. The simple punchy drums provide an abundance of space and perhaps Huttleston’s most beautiful vocal performance on the record.
While this could have served as a fine ending in itself, Citrus Clouds make time for one more with “Motion Blur”. While this feels somewhat like a retread of the same ground it still stands up on its own.
Citrus Clouds are a sophisticated dream pop band who have clearly honed their craft, having listened back through their back catalogue. It would be interesting to hear them introduce some new sounds or some minimalism to maximise the impact of their colossal soundscapes. All in all “Collider” is a perfectly suitable tonic that will hit the spot for most shoegaze fanatics.
You may enjoy this if you like: Crumb, My Bloody Valentine, Serena Maneesh, Slowdive, Winter