On The Record: Touch The Clouds

Welcome to Unrecorded! For those who haven’t come across Touch The Clouds before, how would you describe your sound?

Well, we tend to be described as having a post-indie thing happening. I figure it’s maybe a maturity and continuous development of that genre that is a keep. We’re too indie for mainstream, we’re too mainstream for indie. We are too much of something, too little of another. My personal description? Our ‘sound’ is dynamic, passionate, thoughtful, and concise in intermittent, streaming patterns. 

Let’s get straight into your newest single ‘Tension’, a meaningful track that cuts through all the nonsense of today’s world. What inspired this one?

Now, let me start by saying that I did not write these lyrics. Do I relate to them, yes. Yet, everyone perceives their own primary concept of what a song might mean. To me, I really think the music itself is in step with the lyrical meaning of ‘Tension.’ The imperious ticking of life that we want to ride in stride, yet it doesn’t work that way. What keeps us up? What keeps us going? We want peace, we want the consistency of the rhythm, but the tension/the trouble/life itself will always find us. So, where do we find peace amongst the chaos? And with whom? 

The song is from your upcoming SELF-TITLED LP, a significant milestone for your band. Is there a consistent theme or is it chock full of contrasts?

Again, it might depend on whom you ask in the band. (Insert smile.) To me, there are many directions you might see the songs speaking, yet one thread. Whether it be memories of the past, nods to those whom we’ve lost recently, finding inner peace amongst the consistent noise, or a night gone wrong. Overarching all of this, I think the album speaks to life at this stage (both personally and as a unit), it speaks to our experiences in the climate overarching our world today, and at our most vulnerable states. It is the micro and the macro of the world in which we live in our personal perspectives. Yet, to someone else, it might just be a bunch of nonsense about meditating, or complaining about the world at large. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and desire to have it mean what they want, to themselves. That’s the beauty of music. A song, an album can mean something so different to every person who listens.  

It’s worth mentioning that band member Joe Philips was in post-punkers Few and Far Between. How has the music industry landscape changed since the 00s?

Joe’s a baller. 

That is a big, big question. It also prompts many potential directions for response. Let’s see…. All of TTC have been playing music in the indie scene since the mid 90’s. Not always together…. Sometimes together, sometimes variations. Yet, playing, participating, engaging all the same. 
So, this could be a very lengthy response spanning almost 30 years.
Tell me how old you are without telling me how old you are? We used to book tours using BYOFL, over a phone connected to the wall. Gas up the van, cross the country using a fold out map. Directions to venues written on lined paper with Bic pens, phone number and contact at the bottom. 
In all honesty, almost everything is different. 
What isn’t different is the act of playing music together.
What isn’t different is the instruments intermingling in melody or dischord. 
What (most importantly) isn’t different is the community. A group of passionate individuals that support each other and support the arts. People who love you, who you love, people that might not be related by blood. Yet, they might as well be. Brothers and sisters that when you see at shows twenty plus years later, you fall into old habits and bad jokes. You feel at home whenever they are near. Instruments attached or not. What IS different is our ability to really see, appreciate, and reflect on those relationships. 

What’s the main takeaway that you’d like listeners to have from listening to tracks like ‘Tension’?

We hope people connect with the music, let it into their lives, and stick around to hear more new music from us.

Are there any bands or artists from your local Detroit music scene that you’d like to recommend to our readers?

I hesitate to recommend any single group of bands, I fear leaving someone I love aside the road as I drive recklessly into the night. I recommend taking a look at all of the incredible and unique things coming out of the Detroit area. There are so many amazing artists (not just musicians, but artists in every sense) to explore. 

And lastly, what plans do you have for the rest of the year?

This will sound cliche. Yet, it is the truth. That TTC continues to grow, as a family and as musicians. To write, to play, to enjoy every moment of each other and the music. 

You can also listen to ‘Tension’ in our Indie Rockers playlist.

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