Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Cloth's radiantly dark pop reigns supreme on Secret Measure

"Secret Measure"

Release date: 05 May 2023
Cloth - Secret Measure cover
03 May 2023, 09:00 Written by Craig Howieson

Existing fans of Scottish duo Cloth may think they know what they can expect from their second album, and first for the Rock Action label.

After all, since their inception, twin siblings Rachael and Paul Swinton have become enviably adept at capturing the fog-blanketed mystery of Scottish mornings. A certain darkness accompanied their self-titled debut and subsequent Low Sun EP. Both haunting and enchanting, comparisons to Galaxie 500, Cocteau Twins – and even the XX in Rachael’s whispered delivery – were valid and deserved.

While the core of their sound remains intact, there is far more at play on Secret Measure. Doubling down on the pop sensibilities of their dream pop dabblings, Cloth emerge from the shadows to grace the dancefloor on more than one occasion. Guitars don’t ring, they shudder with an expectant anticipation. Even under Rachael's most tender moments – such as the stunning “Another” – there is an undeniable sway; a desire to dance that you might experience after just the right amount of red wine.

With Ali Chant on production duties, Cloth seem to have found the fullest version of themselves. There is an added intent to tracks such as “Lido”, as Rachael and Paul bring their most interesting ideas to the fore, instead of burying them in the mix. It is as if they are offering up secret treasures that have remained dormant for too long.

Secret Measure still touches on the bleakness that darkens all of our lives. But in splashing colour on their sepia tinged world, Cloth also share the optimism that can be found in the simplest of things. Be that a lingering note, a soothing word, or in the simple urge to move.

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