While Cloud Becomes Your Hand don’t shy from proffering very real observations in their music, they’re absurdists at heart, and their combination of keenness and play is a big component of their appeal. The Brooklyn sextet is a supergroup in both personage and instrumental lineup—led by composer Stephe Cooper, it also comprises two percussionists (drummer Booker Stardum and MIDI-triggered MalletKATer Sam Sowyrda), synth player and vocalist Weston Minissali, violinist Hunter Jack, and now on bass former Guerilla Toss member Simon Haynes.
There’s immediate complexity and also immediate gratification to be found in the band’s sophomore full-length, Rest In Fleas. Album opener “Hermit” is lyrically dense and clever, and just plain bizarre (parse these: “Nobody knew / under a boulder was a shoe / from out which grew a shroom / for 30-odd years traipsing behind you”). Meanwhile a blend of skittish guitar lines and horn-and-string outbursts over the pummel of MIDI lines takes us through a dynamic maze, Cooper and Minissali’s vocals pressing forth in unison. Animated splashes of color are a perfect accompaniment to the frenzy, and in Jenna Caravello’s video the band are having a total blast, their faces blanketed in bright virtual paint as they voice the monotone refrain of “Are you happy? / I am content.” Holding their instruments or holding bananas, Cloud Becomes Your Hand are full of energy, and their wayward bent is hard to resist.
Rest In Fleas will be out May 27 on Northern Spy.