Vancouver’s Crack Cloud, the eternally-talented, multi-hyphenate art collective, band, and living organism, is back. Today, the eccentric possessors of multitudes have announced their sophomore record titled Soft Baby, out September 16 via Meat Machine and Crack Cloud Media Studio. To usher in this new album cycle, the collective has also shared the brilliantly weird single “Please Yourself”.
It was unknown if Crack Cloud would even return with a follow-up to their debut, 2020’s Pain Olympics, but here we are with yet another art-punk epic that aspires toward outrageously cinematic extremes. Decorated with choral vocals, funk-embellished guitars, bright horns, and unsettlingly colorful piano, “Please Yourself” twists in unexpected ways, eventually tailing off into a moment of obscure storytelling, punctuated with a question that is sure to reverberate throughout the rest of Soft Baby: “How can I be pure?”
In typical Crack Cloud fashion, they’ve paired the seesawing cut with a feverish music video buzzing with dynamic movement, monologues, and collaged visuals that hint at a larger whole, maybe even a larger short film. Oh, and good ol’ Mac Demarco makes an appearance on screen too! About the video for “Please Yourself”, the band explains:
“The subtext of the video is really as follows: art is a mechanism for healing and discovery. You learn through it, and you grow with it. In our culture, we’re predisposed to quantifying art, to sanctioning it, and to manufacturing it. But underneath all of that, it is a form of living inquiry; it’s how we learn to unravel the extremities in life so that we may better understand ourselves, and each other.”
Whatever the message may be, one can’t help but be amazed by the Crack Cloud’s continued thoughtfulness, as the collective’s self-directed music video is textured with plenty of veiled meaning and unraveling purpose to match the plunderous music they create.