Who: Fronted by songwriter Craig Minowa and named after indigenous North American prophecies, Minnesota collective Cloud Cult blend songs of loss and redemption with environmental themes on their new album Feel Good Ghosts (Tea-Partying Through Tornadoes).
Sounds Like: The instrumental arsenal of the Arcade Fire mixed with the gentle electronic throb of the Postal Service. Feel Good Ghosts is the latest in a series of albums dealing with the death of Minowa's infant son Kaidin in 2002. "This album brings closure to a lot of the storylines involved in the grieving process and moves into a rebirth process," Minowa says. The album's running length and tracklisting is markedly shorter than previous releases because Minowa believes "people now have shorter attention spans."
• The band is extremely environmentally conscious: They tour in a biodiesel van, record in a geothermal-powered studio and even printed their liner notes on recycled paper with nontoxic vegetable oils. "My parents drove it into my head that its important to focus on all the living things, humans, plants and animals," Minowa says, "That continued to reverberate through my life and became a natural process."
• The band hopes to release a career-spanning documentary later in the year that'll serve as an in-depth look for old fans and a primer for new fans. "There's footage of the past ten years, so it covers the band from the get-go, and it's also like a look into a Cloud Cult tour, backstage antics and such," says Minowa of the film.
• Of the thirty-six jobs Minowa has had in his career, the strangest was "kids party entertainer." "I used to dress up as cartoon characters for kids' birthday parties. No matter what character I'd dress up, either Barney or Mickey Mouse or Batman, I'd always get abuse. The parents would leave, and then the kids would go all crazy on us." Other finalists include ice cream truck driver, wedding DJ and window handle factory worker.
Hear It Now: Feel Good Ghosts is out now on the non-profit eco-loving Earthology Records. Before walking to your closest record store to pick it up, check out our exclusive premiere of the video for the explosive "Everybody Here Is a Cloud."
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