PHOENIX, Arizona is a place for amazing skies: we know this from that famed Orb sample of Rickie Lee Jones in childhood wonderment as used on their ambient-tech crossover hit, “Little Fluffy Clouds.”
And Citrus Clouds, the Phoenician three-piece comprised of bassist and singer Stacie Huttleston, singer-guitarist Erick Pineda and drummer Angelica Pedrego, draw inspiration from these skyscapes, their cinematic, trippy, climactic background, in fashioning a marvellous shoegaze rush as premiered here with Backseat Mafia with the exclusive video for their latest track, A Pastel Sky.
There has been some diminution in recent times of the shoegaze sound into ‘dreampop’, which has come to cover all kinds of synthy, new-wavey iterations of the form. Make no mistake, the business Citrus Clouds are in is the real deal.
Guitars shimmer and feedback, bend microtonally. Stacie’s voice is deeply swathed and embedded in the ecstatic six-string rush, which brings to mind very early Slowdive: that joy and wonderment in sound, the harmony, the overtonal high. Think also, if you knew them, turn-of-the-century Canadians Southpacific. (Get to know them if you don’t).
The trio have been working away in the deserts for a while now, releasing a seven-tracker, Ultra Sound, which is still available over at their Bandcamp.
Erick says of the new video, which they are debuting with Backseat Mafia as an exclusive: “It’s a psychedelic trip through Phoenix and its desert, directed by the brilliant Daniel Garfield.
“The goal was to make a beautiful video that was a love letter to Phoenix. We used practical effects to create clouds and a monsoon storm! It was shot in various locations around Phoenix before Covid.
“‘A Pastel Sky’ is the first single from our second full length [album], Collider. [We’re] currently without a label, so hope to get that sorted soon and release this year.
And how did Erik, out there in the land of the White Tank and the Superstition mountains, come to shoegazing as a form of expression?
That is answered simply. “How it feels. When I heard the glider guitar work on “What You Want”, from Loveless, it changed my world.”
Bathe in the psychedelic skies and the sound of these guys. Record labels: you know what to do.