Warm queer vibes for a cool new year.
Disco, Buddhism, queerness, cello: the late Arthur Russell was as multifaceted a man as he was a musician. Innovative in style and sensitive in substance, his vast library of compositions enjoyed a resurgence in popularity after his untimely death from an AIDS-related illness in 1992, and ‘Lucky Cloud’ stands firmly amongst these tracks as one of his most enduring pieces.
A chameleonic love song that changed drastically between versions, the composition shifted from a playful, almost innocent track released in 1994’s Another Thought to a much more guitar-heavy banger released as a part of 2015’s Corn. Taking inspiration from both of these versions of Russell’s song, all cats are beautiful have managed to create a tender treat of a cover to warm up these cold, winter months.
Jazzy, dreamy, and calm, all cats’ ‘Lucky Cloud’ reminds me of gentle rain, the kind that blends in with the sun to create pastel rainbows. This is mostly thanks to the wonderful finger-tapped guitar that takes center stage throughout most of the track, its clean sound dripping through the melody and splashing nicely on the pulsating bass and understated synths that underpin it. Inspired by the ‘Lucky Cloud’ found in Corn, this song is abundant in its sound, and wonderfully layered.
The percussion in this track is also notable. Confident drums and snappy drumsticks work together to provide a lively, unpredictable rhythm to the track that keeps things interesting until the very end, all the while avoiding becoming hectic. Vocally, Kyle and Elena’s voices work together beautifully, as per usual. The expansive harmonies that see this song off are especially magical and, indeed, it is the seamless, positively spellbinding blend of sounds at the end of this track that make it truly shine, providing a splendid climax for a truly lovely track.
‘Lucky Cloud’ is a warm hug of a song, a relaxed yet intriguing listen from beginning to end. With this thoughtful labour of love, all cats are beautiful have produced the best kind of cover there is, one that reveres its own history while also standing proud on its own.
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All proceeds of this song’s Bandcamp sales will be split between Act Up New York and The Terrance Higgins Trust, which help people living with HIV/AIDS.
Ainhoa Santos Goicoechea (pronounced "I-know-ah") is a culturally confused Creative Writing postgraduate student from the Basque Country, Spain. She is passionate about film, music and politics, and she should probably know more than she does about all three.
Thanks for reading! Slow Motion Panic Masters is a music, arts and culture blog created and edited by Ben Wheadon, a literature student and musician based at the University of Oxford. He is also a Fleet Foxes shill.
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