Thanks to the wonders of technology – and of course an abundance of inspiration – the boundaries of musical potential for a bedroom studio pop star has proved to be almost limitless. Enter Denver’s Josh Wambeke, whose one man band approach under the moniker of The Morning Clouds often sounds more like the work of several bands and a production team, let alone one group with a bunch of studio tricks.
Throughout this stirring EP, Wambeke’s influences are both vivid and varied; loosely filtering classic pop music through a space pop blender. ‘A Walk Home’ sees the artist pitch himself as The Beach Boys at their most forlorn, complete with wonderful sonic arrangements and lovely (self) harmonies. As its title implies, ‘The Wrong Things’ is another glass half-empty kind of song but its ringing guitar figure and Spector-esque arrangement ensure that euphoria easily defeats misery. By way of contrast, ‘Untitled’ and the title track signal an edgier, heavier approach which Jesus And Mary Chain fans would approve of.
Perhaps the only criticism of ‘Wasted Youth Blues’ is that the music does carry direct comparisons with other artists. However, with an album to follow soon, it would be interesting to see if Wambeke can push those boundaries out any further.
Lefse Records Label and Shop Site
Jesus And Mary Chain, The Beach Boys