The press release waxes lyrical about Cloudy Clouds comparing him to Eminem, Lupe Fiasco and others of that ilk. But I’ve learnt to pay scant regard for the excessive hyperbole that surrounds new releases and prefer now to just give them a listen.
In this case I’m glad that I did.
Cloudy Clouds is Claudio Elliston, a young man from Crouch End chiselling away at a very specific crevice of the hip-hop mountain. I hope Claudio doesn’t mind when I compliment by saying that this is a hip-hop for bedroom-based geeks. It’s Jilted John for the misfits of 2020. Eschewing the grandiose, the guns and the fast cars for something altogether more civilised, Cloudy Clouds moralises with modern parables about love and life.
Take his new single, I Wrote You A Love Song, released alongside his new album, Imprisoned In A Daydream, this week. The humour in the words draws you in before the pathos takes over. “It’s all made up”, confesses Claudio in the last verse, not missing the opportunity to make a point about how we might all be better off if we learn to be honest about our feelings.
It’s when telling a story that Cloudy Clouds really breaks through the Cirrus. The lead single from the album, Your Future Daughter, is absolutely worth five and a half minutes of anybody’s time. A sensible plea for the legalisation of Class A’s is accompanied by a wholly engaging mixed-media video.
Geeky, wispy and yet unique enough to steer a clear trail through the humdrum, Cloudy Clouds is a worthy investment for anybody’s precious time. He doesn’t seem as messed up as Eminem and that has to be a good thing.