Cloud is the project of LA-based Tyler Taormina. Apparently this is his second record. It is a dense affair. Taormina apparently feels that he has to layer in many layers of sound. The overall effect is a little messy, but still rather enjoyable.
There is one thing i have to warn you about, though: he sings in a high-pitched, whiney voice, and he sings a lot. The high-pitch gets a little tiring at times, making the album seem oh so twee and making me wish he would, i dunno, bring in a tenor to collaborate with. I find that his voice gets on my nerves at certain times, so be forewarned.
Otherwise Zen Summer is an album of light guitar and layers of synths and keyboards. The overall effect is bright, shiny. The music sparkles, all of the layers echoed lightly and creating a hazy, upbeat effect.
Fly Into The Mystery starts off with a nice little drone, then a good beat comes in and some tinkling guitar. This song kind of reminds me The Sea & Cake, but the song is less sparse than that band. Same kind of feel though, just a happy bouncing along.
Sunshine Psych is a nice, messy, catchy tune. At the end it does this odd back and forth swaying drone thing, the keyboard and guitar going back and forth on one riff. Itís a little disorienting. Mantra One is a bouncy tune of fuzzed guitar and piano.
An echoing sample makes Luana feel kind of Orb like. Everything is echoed and a silly little piano riff sways along.
The pitch gets cranked up to 11 on Melting Cassatt with a harp that trills back and forth and Taormina singing in falsetto at times. Huh. I wasn't sure his voice could get any higher pitched, but the falsetto is, at least, less whiney.
Electrical Smile is piano and slide guitar, shaking percussion noises on top. Title track Zen Summer is slow and hazy, a nice instrumental interlude of echoed guitar that reminds me of Yellow6.
Tastes Bad is a slow, almost lethargic, take on Taormina's droning sound. It has a nice, loping beat. Sleepy Giant Speak is slowly epic, with piano tinkling and a guitar grinding mightily. His voice is almost buried in the sound here.
Night Ride has a happy clapped beat and the hi-hat chiming like crazy. It also features the first recognizable, noteworthy bass beat on the record. And finally we end with Rainbow Road, where Taormina has a chorus singing behind him, which makes the song kind of fun. It ends with a nice George Winston kind of piano bit, kind of winding down the whole record.
It's a pretty cool album, once you get used to the high voice. Fans of Manual, Gold-bears, and Atlas Sound will all find things to like here.