Cloakroom’s Dissolution Wave is a space western in which an act of theoretical physics—the dissolution wave—wipes out all of humanity’s existing art and abstract thought. In order to keep the world spinning on its axis, songsmiths must fill the ether with their compositions. Meanwhile, the Spire and Ward of Song act as a filter for human imagination: Only the best material can pass through the filter and keep the world turning.
This is the philosophical universe that Cloakroom guitarist/vocalist Doyle Martin conceived as a way of processing the last few years. “We lost a couple of close friends over the course of writing this record,” he says. “Dreaming up another world felt easier to digest than the real nitty-gritty we’re immersed in every day.”
With lyrics based on an imagined cosmology, Dissolution Wave also marks a grand expansion of Cloakroom’s dynamic space-rock palette, which is strongly felt on the album’s airy and pastoral lead single, “A Force At Play”. Written from the perspective of the album’s protagonist—an asteroid miner who writes songs by night—“The miner is talking about ‘bottling lightning beams,’ which is a new take on the old music industry term ‘lightning in a bottle,’ which can pertain to a fire ass track or a good bottle of homemade booze,” Martin points out. “As you can imagine, bottling lightning is a pretty hard thing to do.”
Dissolution Wave’s melancholy title track captures the miner’s regret as they lament that they signed up for such a long stint on the job, while closer “Dissembler” describes their anxiety about the revelator who will judge their work. “If you don’t write a good enough song in this universe, you run the risk of being forgotten and lose the opportunity to return as a meaningful form of life,” Martin explains.
Essentially, the system is a karmic wheel measured by the worth of a song. “Can this existential dread be applied to our own world and mirror some Sanskrit cosmologies?” Martin posits. “As far as a cyclic existence and the actual fear of death processed by human abstraction are concerned, one hundred percent yes.”
Dissolution Wave lands for Cloakroom’s tenth anniversary as a band. It’s their third album, and first with drummer Tim Remis who joined in 2019. Recorded at Earth Analog in Tolono, IL, the album features loops and piano on “Doubts” by Matt Talbott (HUM), exterior percussion on “Lost Meaning” by Jason Gagovski (Sweet Cobra) and was engineered and mixed by Cloakroom’s longtime soundman (and childhood friend), Zac Montez.
Dissolution Wave is out January 28 on Relapse Records.For tour dates and more visit: cloakroom.bandcamp.com/