Giant Cloud, Old Books EP (Park the Van)

Giant Cloud - Old Books EP (Park the Van Records)While Old Books, the debut EP from recent Ruston transplants Giant Cloud isn’t anything new or different, the band’s interpretation of Southern folk isn’t bad.

Though only five songs long, the album slowly progresses in complexity from gentle, folky, Beach House-y ambience to a more intricate, multi-instrumental density. It begins slow and dreamy, with delicate vocals between newly married co-lead singers Julie Odell and Benjamin Jones over jangly guitars. It flirts with a more up-tempo waltz sound, but it never commits. It’s a shame because these faster moments are some of the best of the EP. Though these parts do sometimes have a Fleet Foxes or My Morning Jacket feel, they’re when the band takes on more of an identity, and with a new, full-length album in the works, hopefully they’ll keep experimenting with different sounds and continue in this direction.

The bio on the website of their label, Park the Van Records, discusses at length how much they embrace their Southern background, especially its historically slow, languorous traditions. “Every time I hear someone refer to the ’80s, I wish in my mind it was the 1880s,” Jones is quoted as saying. I feel like the band is trapping itself here, too heavily emphasizing preserving and honoring musical traditions instead of inventing one of its own.