Paul Infanti, Sophie Toes, Richard Gibson, Jamie Holmes, Tracy Deakin & Paul Blakeman
Close your eyes and imagine a cuckoo clock. Picture its distinctive design, the ornate decoration, all rhythmic regulation and promise of melodic surprise as the mechanism unwinds. Now keep your eyes closed, but this time listen... tune your ears to those same peculiar qualities and hear it's beautiful sound.
There's something elemental about the music of Cuckoo Clocks, the counterpoint of Tracy Deakin's powerful vocal balanced by Paul Infanti's knowing tones, the compelling blend lifted aloft by soaring five point harmonies. There are natural comparisons to be made: Rumours-era Fleetwood Mac (if Mick and co had gained an appreciation of the Balearic impact), hypnotic swathes of West Coast psychedelia, country tinged soul with a nod to folk electronica, hints of Fairport Convention or Arthur Lee's Love all aired to dry in a post industrial Northern city.
Their latest offering, Frontiers of a seductive Mind, is at once intimate and expansive, ambitious and highly accomplished; like you're witnessing music written to quench the band's own burning desires, but with a clear yearning to set the listener aflame. Lyrical narratives tell of momentary insights gained from lifelong journeys, of longing and fulfilment. Tales of love and separation, unity and redemption. A band who sound like freedom might feel, untethered by the fickle tastes of contemporary music fads, produced by people long enough in the tooth to be unashamed to showcase their considerable talent. Self assured and stylish to the point that you can imagine there being a potential Bond theme somewhere in the catalogue.
Some say magic and art are the same thing, that music and art complete one another, and that music's mission is to show how passion creates feeling. Cuckoo Clocks are magicians, conjuring music that slips gently past the ears and is soaked up through the pores. Painting pictures of vast skies and long canyon lined roads. Music made by music lovers, their template all that's gone before brought together with a classic timeless feel.
Some things are difficult to explain, they have to be witnessed. So close your eyes and bear witness...