Music » Critics' Picks

Cloud Cult

9 p.m. Monday, March 17. The Bluebird, 2706 Olive Street.

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Cloud Cult's recorded output over the past few years feels like a naturally progressing spiritual journey, a search for the meaning of life and the significance of death. Singer/songwriter Craig Minowa writes songs that often paint pictures of childlike innocence, in an attempt to explain the afterlife and the cyclical nature of human existence. As has been well documented, much of this music is at least partially a therapeutic reaction to the tragic 2002 death of Minowa's infant son. But Cloud Cult's music is neither morose nor desolate. Although the band augments percussive, danceable arrangements with well-placed tinges of lonesome strings — think Arcade Fire — its melancholic introspection always tends to uplift before a song's end. "When Water Comes to Life," from the new release Feel Good Ghosts (Tea-Partying Through Tornadoes), starts with wondrous, cinematic orchestration before giving way to a light pizzicato backdrop which spotlights Minowa's strident vocals. It all perfectly underscores a dreamlike telling of the body's journey back to the earth, a path that everyone will take one day.

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