by Hannah Liuzzo (@hannahliuzzo)
Jenny Tuite, front person of dreamy grunge group Dirty Dishes, is also the evocative multi-instrumental noise-witch mastermind behind the sonic experiment Cloud Cover. One of the few artists brave enough to venture off into a pitch black forest completely unaccompanied, Tuite’s debut solo effort Mirror Me offers a glimpse into a side of you that you’re too skittish to look at. Comfortably uncomfortable, translucent, veiled in black, Cloud Cover exists in a realm of unexplored, pacing and rearranging, everything to a rhythm; the dark and unknown are gracefully cataloged and deliberately expressed.
Littered with themes of clever and intelligent witchcraft, each song is a terribly lovely expression of a haunting and nightmarish scene. From the title track which eludes to the common theme of mirrors and divination, to the demented clock-chimes and subtle preparation of a victim in “Cake Bath”, to the obvious and deliberate evil of “Cyanide Pie” and “Cannibalism” where Tuite claims, “like the devil and his parts, I will eat your bleeding heart”, each scene is musically expressed using quips from an arsenal of unique sounds. Repeating guitar melodies, fractures of (in)human cries and percussive outbursts, deliberately dosed silence, and completely unrecognizable backdrops of white/pink/grey noise are eerily narrated by Tuite’s crystalline voice in wavering melodies.
The vitality that’s unique to Mirror Me can more easily be likened to a palate of dark artists like Roald Dahl, Robert Eggers, and Edgar Allan Poe than to any other musical reference. The sonic textures that Tuite collages borrow from flavors of Amnesiac-era Radiohead, flares of minimalist sensibilities like repetition and iteration, and from the lacey and ethereal soundscapes of Grouper, but the weight of Mirror Me exists in its captivating pull from start to finish—a literary balance of tension and evil. Mirror Me is a complete standalone work to be consumed as a whole in the dark and by candle light and completely alone.
A truly experimental work in the sense that the creator was bold enough to take on a canvas of complete unknown, Tuite has managed to craft a new realm, one that should be marked as off-limits to the faint of heart, but flagged and experienced over and over by the curious, reflective, and shadowy. To quote Tuite in her mad lullaby “Memorandum”, Cloud Cover’s Mirror Me shows that Tuite is “smart enough to know what’s right/brave enough to do what’s wrong, goodnight”.
Mirror Me is out now via Disposable America and is available on vinyl and cassette.