Cloth Secret Measure

Label
Rock Action
Released
5th May 2023

Format Info

CD
Monorail Exclusive Yellow LP with signed print
with signed art print

There’s a track on Cloth’s Secret Measure – their second full length and first outing for Glasgow’s Rock Action Records – that builds on a single two note melody. Secret Measure is a record that builds. It’s a quiet masterpiece, a body of work that simmers and weaves its way into the world through intricate, delicate guitar lines; melodies that are sparse yet full all at once. It’s not all guitar, of course, there’s equally affecting drum and bass accompaniments, but at its heart, Secret Measure is an album that explores the dynamic between two guitarists and all the ways that such a relationship can sound and coexist in the same space. Cloth is Paul and Rachel and Paul and Rachel are bandmates and twin brother and sister, too. It would be easy to call the music they make ‘pop’. It is pop music but it’s pop music with so much more – so much intimacy and space, so many moments to catch your breath. Their year ended with a few Slowdive support slots and their biggest hometown headline yet at Stereo. It goes without saying that Cloth are already ingrained in the fabric of Glasgow. – LT

Since hearing Cloth’s first release back in 2019, we were immediately hooked – and so were you, selling out our exclusive pressing in almost the same breath as us announcing it! As we wrote back then, they were a band still forming, yet felt completely fully formed, slotting seamlessly into their city’s musical heritage yet somehow standing apart. Their new album, Secret Measure, has only further confirmed our suspicions that twins Rachael and Paul Swinton are about to be a part of the biggest bands to come out of Glasgow.

Produced by Ali Chant, who has worked with the likes of Yard Act, Katy J Pearson, and Squirrel Flower, it seems this record has been Cloth’s chance to progress to a fuller sound that they were always capable of. The ultra-precise production makes you stand to attention instantly, with the opening title track, Secret Measure, genuinely making me freeze in awe upon first listen. A rumbling bass booms through staccato guitar riffs and free-floating vocals that could easily lead me to comparing these two talents to their roster mates and label owners, Mogwai, but Cloth stand tall in their own right. This is new, uncharted territory that they seem to have nailed from the get-go.

Fuzzy synth melodies play out through the wonderfully minimal Never Know, nudging at its post-rock atmosphere with a breathy, Slowdive quality. Rachael’s gentle yet affirming vocals shine through on Lido, nestled next to rousing drums and a delicate horn section. Early The xx comes to mind on this one, and would be right at home on the record player at a party, or on your headphones walking home from a too-late night out. Another has an almost R&B chorus that brings texture and brightness, alongside the discordance between palm-muted guitar and drums that highlights the strength of their songwriting. However, it’s Drips that comes steeped in dreamy textures and electronic elements, almost drip-dropping through the song structure in a delicate haze.

We’ve probably said it before, but we’re honoured to be collaborating with Cloth once more in what will no doubt be a dazzling career. Cloth are ready to show you what they’ve got, in no half measures.

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Glasgow-based twin-sibling duo Cloth (Rachael and Paul Swinton) release Secret Measure, their first full-length release on Rock Action Records (Mogwai, Arab Strap, The Twilight Sad) following the four-song Low Sun EP (2022). The album was produced by Ali Chant (Yard Act, Katy J Pearson, Squirrel Flower) at Toybox Studios, Bristol.

Available on Monorail Exclusive vinyl with signed art print and download code, along with CD and digital download.

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